Big Gay Wedding viewers moved by 'uplifting tonic' hosted by Tom Allen

The BBC documentary marked 10 years of same-sex marriage in a heartwarming way.

Big Gay Wedding with Tom Allen,PORTRAIT,Tom Allen,Minnow Films,Adam Hobbs
Viewers were moved by Big Gay Wedding with Tom Allen. (BBC)

What did you miss?

Viewers of My Big Gay Wedding with Tom Allen have praised how heartwarming the show was as it marked 10 years of gay marriage being legal.

Comedian and TV star Allen explained the battle that had been fought for the change in the law, while also planning a beautiful wedding day for 2021 Great Pottery Throw Down finalist Adam and his fiance Dan.

The BBC One programme was an emotional watch for many, as viewers shared stories of their own weddings, too.

What, how and why?

It's been a decade since the first gay marriages took place in the UK, and to mark the milestone comedian Tom Allen planned the perfect wedding day for one couple while looking back over the long campaign to make gay marriages legal.

Viewers thought it struck the perfect balance between educational and heartwarming, as Allen mixed political interviews with light-hearted moments as former Great Pottery Throw Down finalist Adam and his fiance Dan prepared for their big day.

Big Gay Wedding with Tom Allen,PORTRAIT,Tom Allen,Minnow Films,Adam Hobbs
Tom Allen helped to organise one couple's wedding. (BBC)

Allen also called in a few favours from his celeb pals, including Bake Off and Strictly star John Whaite who made the 10-tier wedding cake and Sophie Ellis-Bextor who sang for their first dance which was choreographed by Oti Mabuse.

One viewer commented on X: "@tomallencomedy what a beautiful programme. Thank you." Another person shared: "I've already had a blub at #biggaywedding with Tom Allen. This is just lovely."

However, Allen also included some tough stories about the battle for marriage equality, including a devastating story from Sandi Toksvig who shared how she had been inspired to campaign after hearing about a man unable to say goodbye to his dying partner as he was removed from the hospital by his partner's family.

Big Gay Wedding with Tom Allen,27-03-2024,Adam, Dan,Kissing at wedding ceremony.,Minnow Films,Screengrab
Adam and Dan celebrated their wedding day. (BBC)

One viewer wrote: "Just loving @tomallencomedy and @sanditoksvig - thank you for sharing these stories tonight. Heartbreaking that people had to go through this trauma."

Another viewer added: "Love @tomallencomedy’s big gay wedding on bbc1 right now So important to remember the past, celebrate how far things have come and not let hate crawl back into the mainstream," as someone else added: "#BigGayWedding with @tomallencomedy was just the tonic for all the awfulness and naffness of this world."

Many viewers also shared their own stories of years waiting to be allowed to legally marry.

One viewer commented: "God, @tomallencomedy this has been the most uplifting documentary. Being 45, I still can’t believe how much has changed since I was a little boy, thinking I’d never be accepted never mind maybe marry. #biggaywedding is on the BBC. Another thing that wouldn’t have happened!"

What else happened on My Big Gay Wedding?

Big Gay Wedding with Tom Allen,27-03-2024,Sandi Toksvig,during interview,Minnow Films,Screengrab
Sandi Toksvig told a heartbreaking story that inspired her campaigning. (BBC)

Despite the uplifting documentary, Allen has said there were moments that he found difficult to watch, including clips of political debates about legalising same-sex marriage.

In an interview with The Independent, he said: "I found that very emotional. The fact that even 10 years ago, politicians were standing up, and pronouncing on what they thought of this legislation; what they thought of the idea of [same-sex marriage] – it’s very, very upsetting.

"That attitude in society was quite insidious. It was very painful for a lot of people – all queer people felt the sense of difficulty. So it was very difficult to feel, never mind pride, but a sense of feeling OK. That’s how deep that exclusion was."

My Big Gay Wedding with Tom Allen streams on BBC iPlayer.

Read more: 10 years of same-sex marriage