Jeremy Kyle Show cancelled, could Love Island be next? MPs launch inquiry into reality TV shows

By Lloyd Bent
Thursday, 16 May, 2019, 13:33

An investigation will be carried out into reality TV programmes that prey on vulnerable people following the suicide of Jeremy Kyle guest Steve Dymond.

The presenter of the popular ITV daytime show has said that he is “devastated” by the news about Mr Dymond, but he could not face questions from MPs in parliament.

The review follows the indefinite cancellation of The Jeremy Kyle Show after guest Mr Dymond, 63, was found dead ten days after filming an episode where he failed a lie detector test over whether he had been unfaithful to his fiancée.

Broadcasters have ‘duty of care’

The Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) will now consider production companies’ duty of care to participants on reality shows and explore whether enough support is offered both during and after filming.

The Jeremy Kyle Show has been a controversial fixture of ITV’s daytime schedule since 2005.

Following calls from MPs and viewers alike, ITV made the decision to axe the show.

Deaths following Jeremy Kyle and Love Island

ITV has also come under fire for the way it supports reality show participants following the deaths of Love Island contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.

DCMS committee chairman Damian Collins praised ITV’s cancellation of The Jeremy Kyle Show, but called for further action.

In a statement, he said: “There needs to be an independent review of the duty of care TV companies have to participants in reality TV shows and the DCMS select committee has decided to hold an inquiry this summer into these issues.

“Programmes like The Jeremy Kyle Show risk putting people who might be vulnerable on to a public stage at a point in their lives when they are unable to foresee the consequences, either for themselves or their families.

Are reality shows fit for purpose?

“This kind of TV featuring members of the public attracts viewing figures in the millions but in return for ratings, the broadcasters must demonstrate their duty of care to the people whose personal lives are being exposed.

“With an increasing demand for this type of programming, we’ll be examining broadcasting regulation in this area – is it fit for purpose?”

ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall announced on Wednesday morning that The Jeremy Kyle Show had been officially cancelled.

She said in a statement: “The Jeremy Kyle Show has had a loyal audience and has been made by a dedicated production team for 14 years, but now is the right time for the show to end.

“Everyone at ITV’s thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Steve Dymond.”

The broadcaster has confirmed that it will continue to work with Kyle, but no details on what these projects may be have been revealed.

This article originally appeared on our sister site the Edinburgh Evening News.