The sun is setting in Cannes, but there’s a glistening line in the Old Port from a million-pound superyacht – this one belongs to Britain’s richest gypsy Alfie Best.
The red carpet was rolled out for Alfie, 53, at the premiere of his film Gypsy Billionaire, and his friends and family were out in full force for the occasion.
The film follows the rich-to-riches story of Alfie, and details how he changed the course of his fortune from his birth on a roadside near Leicester – to a £1billion businessman.
After watching the documentary, he says, “It feels real.” ,If someone had told me that I would be sitting here at the Cannes Film Festival watching a documentary about myself – I would have said “no”.
‘Am I shocked and humbled – no? I am surprised. I shed tears seeing this.
The red carpet was rolled out for Alfie Best, 53, at the premiere of his film Gypsy Billionaire, and his friends and family were out in full force for the occasion. Image: Valentina Catenacci
The film follows the rich-to-riches story of Alfie, and details how he changed the course of his fortune from his birth on a roadside near Leicester – to a £1billion businessman. , Image: Valentina Catenacci
The father of two says he was initially hesitant about bringing his life story to the big screen, but documentary director Joel Van Der Molen convinced him.
‘Joel approached me to make it and when he first came to meet me the answer was no and the reason I thought it was self-conceited was no. What he explained to me is that “if you can’t show it can be done no one will ever see it’s done.”
‘ He told me about many black entrepreneurs and he said, “They never embraced how they got there, most of them backed by their own people.”
While The Gypsy Billionaire is an open book of Alfie’s trials and triumphs, the documentary does not feature his beloved and elusive second wife, Emily Jane Bruce.
This has been done after the family received death threats for being in the limelight.
Alfie Best, Britain’s richest gypsy who is estimated to be worth around £1 billion, reveals in film Billionaire Gypsy that his school days were tough
Alfie (portrayed as a child) reveals in the film that he faced discrimination at school because he was a traveller.
Alfie, who lives in a £6 million mansion in Surrey, says: “My wife hates media of any kind because as a gypsy it comes with very obnoxious poison pen letters, so she doesn’t deal with any media Is.”
‘When we made the documentary Big Fat Gypsy Fortune – we sprayed our gates and they didn’t do a good job of them. You’re never going to stop being your demons of people and if someone is turning you down, it’s because they’re inadequate to themselves, not because you have a problem because you don’t even know them,’ he says defensively.
His daughter Elizabeth, 27, appears in the documentary and she demonstrates the astute business acumen of her father and Alfie Banks on continuing his legacy when it is all said and done.
She currently works as a Parks Manager for Wildcrest Park in Windsor.
‘You have to support broad shoulders – Elizabeth’s been a long time coming – it’s not been an easy ride,’ he says.
Meanwhile, Alfie’s son – Alfie Best Junior Junior appeared in the reality show My Big Fat Gypsy’s Fortune on Channel 4 as well as ITV’s Absolutely Ascot.
Alfie reveals his pride for his daughter Elizabeth and says she didn’t ‘go straight to a boardroom seat’ but instead worked to get where she is.
The 25-year-old, heir to the family fortune, regularly shares photos of his expensive cars and luxury lifestyle with his 127,000 Instagram followers.
Like most parents, Alfie, who has faced death before, wants his children to be away from negative influences.
‘Bad people are bad people with bad thoughts and bad intentions and that is the one thing I would want my kids to stay away from. Good people create good conditions and good conditions make good life and good life makes good legacy and good legacy makes history.’
The figures for Alfie’s successful property business speak for themselves as Wildcrest Parks operates 91 mobile home parks across the UK and is valued at £700 million.
However, Alfie has slowly come to terms with being an unlikely TV star in the making.
He says, ‘For the first three months it was very difficult to have the cameras following me.’ ‘It was a year in total and there was a lot of footage that wasn’t actually featured in the documentary.
‘I didn’t have any editing rights, but I wanted to because if there’s something I’ve done that people don’t like, I don’t apologise. I do not apologize because I have always done it with a good heart.
He says: ‘It felt like a reality TV show for the first three months, because you see everything you’re saying, after that you forget and think ‘sod it’ and that’s why They started filming me in places like the bathroom. The only thing I didn’t want on camera was when I was peeing because I don’t have much to brag about.’
However, the TV bigwig must think he has something to brag about, as he revealed: ‘We’ve already been asked if we’d like to do a TV series and we’ll consider that.
‘I’m not an actor or a TV personality, I’m just someone who is in the mobile home park area and has been blessed enough to change people’s lives.’