North Augusta couple to be featured on new TLC series

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The courtship and marriage of a North Augusta couple will be the subject of an upcoming episode of a new TLC network show later this month.

Bill McKown; his wife, Tamara; and their son, Jackson, will be appearing on the May 27 episode of My Big, Fat American Gypsy Wedding on the TLC network.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/FILE
Bill McKown; his wife, Tamara; and their son, Jackson, will be appearing on the May 27 episode of My Big, Fat American Gypsy Wedding on the TLC network.

The series, My Big, Fat American Gypsy Wedding, premiered at 10 p.m. Sunday. According to a news release, each episode “will explore the tight-knit Gypsy community, offering up unprecedented access to their lives.”

The episode featuring Bill and Tamara McKown will air on May 27, TLC spokesman Dustin Smith said. The couple lives in the insular Murphy Village community of Irish Travelers, which straddles the Aiken and Edgefield county lines.

The McKowns spent about six months living in front of a camera crew for the episode, which will feature their extravagant Dec. 10 wedding in front of Bill McKown’s home on Kerry Court.

Tamara McKown said the crew was from Firecracker Films, known for the TLC show My Big, Fat Gypsy Wedding, which focused on the lives of British gypsies. The film crew arrived last May and began documenting everything in their lives, including the birth of their son, Jackson, who is 9 months old.

Despite the show’s title, Irish Travelers are a distinct group from the Romani people often referred to as gypsies – a label that most Travelers disdain.

TLC General Manager Amy Winter said the new show is “a remarkable look at a way of life that is extremely hidden from mainstream America, despite customs and celebrations that can be extravagantly elaborate – this is a culture where bigger is always better.”

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Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 05/03/12 - 08:46 am
If you haven't seen the show,

If you haven't seen the show, you should. Very interesting. The girls on the show are MUCH more innocent than what we expected. The boys? so much. Also interesting is that the couples have their weddings paid by the producers of the show (I didn't know that until these articles came up.) Well, that pretty much feeds right into the stereotype we have of these folks, doesn't it? I've lived here for most of my life and I don't recall ever running into any Travelers with the last name of McKown. One of the things people hear about all the time is how they inter-marry, within their own family (2nd or 3rd cousins). I heard, on one of the shows, that the reason they do that is so there is not alot of "feuding" between the 2 marrying families...everyone knows one another. Interesting people. But it does say alot that they don't want to discuss how much money they have or how they go about getting it.

urright 05/03/12 - 08:47 am
I'm surprised the men allowed

I'm surprised the men allowed this to go on.

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