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Amazon army captain with prejudices against the travelling community shocked by his own gypsy heritage

Channel 4's latest documentary featured Ed Stafford, an adventurer who came to terms with his gypsy heritage while still expressing prejudices towards the community.

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Amazon army captain with prejudices against the travelling community shocked by his own gypsy heritage

The documentary features Ed, an explorer who holds the Guinness World Record as the first man to walk all of the length of the Amazon river. He also spends time with Romani and Irish tourists across the UK.

He began to reflect on his 'negative' past views as he gained more knowledge about the community.

Ed stated that he thinks about gypsies when he says this.

"Rightly or incorrectly, gypsies have been linked to crime and going against the law. It is scary going into that world."

The 46-year old revealed that he had changed his initial perceptions while filming after discovering an ancient culture with multi-generational families who lived in the great outdoors and struggled against an unwelcoming society.

He added, "I was naive."

"All I knew about the gypsies were negative or hearsay."

"Like many people, I had prejudices. But it is so hard to live in the UK as a nomadic person.

Ed was introduced by Sherrie to Ed at the annual fair which attracts approximately 10,000 gypsies, travellers, and 30k visitors. Sherrie decided to Google him, and was shocked to discover that his name was Lovell, a common name for gypsy people.

The father-of-three lives in Leicestershire and said that Laura Bingham, his explorer wife, had suspected it.

Ed stated, "She had an instinct that I was going to be a gypsy."

"I was interested because I felt a strong connection to the community.

"Suddenly, when it dawned on me that there was a chance that I might have ancestral gypsy blood," I decided to investigate.

"The production team discovered an ancestry-gypsy woman to look into my past and uncover any truth in it.

"People don't realize that gypsies are an ethnicity. It's a bloodline, not a lifestyle. We need to be more accepting.

60 Day With The Gypsies can be viewed on All4.

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