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Panorama: My Big Fat Fake Wedding

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Panorama’s Richard Bilton investigates sham weddings in the UK, and takes on various guises to expose all the links in the chain that help immigrants stay in the country illegally.

It should be the most romantic day in any couple’s relationship, but every year hundreds of weddings take place where the bride and groom barely know each other – and will hardly ever meet again. These are sham marriages – a way for desperate immigrants to stay in the country illegally by paying to marry a stranger with an EU passport.

In this Panorama Special, Reporter Richard Bilton takes on various guises, to expose how this lucrative – and growing – industry operates. He goes undercover as a wedding photographer at a sham wedding, investigates an Eastern European gang that supplies teenage prostitutes as bogus brides for £8,000; the immigration solicitor who will prepare the legal paperwork for sham couples; and he discovers how the Church of England has also been targeted by bogus wedding fraudsters.