As viewers of Channel 4’s Big Fat Gypsy Weddings may recall, one scene in the show’s last series shocked fans when a girl was seen being “grabbed” in a car park.
The Sun reports that 15 year old Cheyenne Pidgley “was dragged into a dark car park by traveller John McFadyen where he tried to force her to kiss him.”
The scenes outraged viewers who said the gypsy custom of grabbing was “assault”, and at the time, Cheyenne insisted she was not interested in 17 year old John, 17.
But yesterday, showing off her diamond engagement ring, she said, “I can’t wait to have my very own Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.”
And property developer John added, “It was love at first sight when I saw Cheyenne at my sister’s wedding…
“I tried chatting her up but she wouldn’t have any of it, so I grabbed her.
“You could say it was love at first grab.”
But John soon regretted it after the TV firm who made the show was slammed for allowing the grabbing to go ahead.
As to the “grabbing” incident, John said, “I phoned her the day after and apologised.
“I was all right because on the telly my face was blurred out — but everyone knew who Cheyenne was. There was so much fuss.
“I was accused of being a virtual rapist and all sorts — but I didn’t even get to kiss her.
“I just grabbed her hand and pulled her outside.
“Grabbing is part of our culture. It’s not violent or frightening. You get their attention and grab them. All us gypsy lads do it.”
The couple, from Esher in Surrey, got together in the summer and John proposed a month later. They are now planning their wedding.
You can read Cheyenne and John’s story in the book of the TV series, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, which is published by Hodder & Stoughton and available on September 29.