Channel 4 has secured exclusive access to the world of polygamous marriages in the British Muslim community for a new documentary film to be broadcast this summer.
While there are no official figures, it is estimated that there may be as many as 20,000 polygamous marriages in the British Muslim community.
As polygamy is illegal in this country, those who enter into these relationships forego their rights under British law. Nevertheless, it is a risk that many are willing and eager to take.
Channel 4 will follow the work of Muslim Marriage Event, a matchmaking service which specialises in finding additional partners for British Muslim men and women. The programme examines the motivation behind those looking for another wife or husband, considers whether they are compelled by desire or tradition and meets those who are trying to make polygamy acceptable to mainstream UK society.
Commissioned by Emma Cooper, Commissioning Editor for Documentaries, The Men With Many Wives asks whether polygamy can ever work. Can people really share their partners? And are those men looking for their second, third or even fourth wife simply using it as a way to condone infidelity?
The programme will be produced by Shiver and executive produced by Alexander Gardiner.
Masood Khan said: “The film examines some difficult issues, not only around reconciling Muslim values with modern British society but also on questions of duty, love and betrayal.”
Emma Cooper commented: “The team have done an incredible job gaining the trust of a community who, for the first time, have shared the intimate workings of a world which is often hidden from much of the UK. The insight we learn from this film is extraordinary and compelling.”
Executive Producer: Alexander Gardiner
Producer/Director: Masood Khan
The documentary will air on Channel 4 this summer.