MPs have announced plans to look into reality TV programmes after ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ was axed by ITV yesterday (15.05.19) following the death of a participant, and the deaths of two former ‘Love Island’ contestants.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) have announced plans to consider production companies’ duty of care to participants after the passing of Steve Dymond, who allegedly took his own life a week after taking a lie detector test on the ITV programme, and after two former ‘Love Island’ contestants died.
Damian Collins, DCMS Committee chair, said:
“ITV has made the right decision to permanently cancel ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’.
“However, that should not be the end of the matter. 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.
“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?”
Jeremy admitted he has been left “utterly devastated” after the show’s cancellation after 14 years, and sent his well wishes to Steve’s family and friends.
He said in a statement to The Sun newspaper:
“Myself and the production team I have worked with for the last 14 years are all utterly devastated by the recent events. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Steve’s family and friends at this incredibly sad time.”
ITV confirmed on Wednesday that production on the show has concluded.
Carolyn McCall, ITV’s CEO, said:
“Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of The Jeremy Kyle Show.
“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 previously announced review of the episode of the show is underway and will continue.”
This comes after some have called for ‘Love Island’ to be axed after former contestant Mike Thalassitis was found dead in March aged 26, and Sophie Gradon – who also appeared on the ITV2 dating show – died by suicide in 2018 aged 32.