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May 16, 2019

The Jeremy Kyle show axed for good after death of guest

Top Story

May 16, 2019

LONDON: ITV has said “now is the right time” for The Jeremy Kyle Show to end as it was permanently axed following the death of a guest.

The confrontational talk show was suspended indefinitely by the broadcaster on Monday following the death of a participant, 63-year-old Steve Dymond, a week after a programme featuring him was filmed.

The programme, which had been a regular fixture in the TV schedule since 2005, has now ended for good following calls for it to be cancelled from MPs and members of the public.

Following the cancellation of the daytime show, MPs launched an inquiry into reality TV. The Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) will consider production companies’ duty of care to participants taking part in reality shows and explore whether enough support is offered both during and after filming.

ITV has also faced scrutiny over its support for reality show talent following the deaths of former Love Island contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.

DCMS committee chairman Damian Collins said ITV “has made the right decision to permanently cancel the Jeremy Kyle Show”, but “that should not be the end of the matter”.

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.

“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 show had been officially cancelled “given the gravity of recent events”.

Kyle has yet to comment personally on the show’s cancellation. Dymond’s body was found at an address in Grafton Street, Portsmouth, on May 9. Hampshire Police said the death is not being treated as suspicious and a file is being prepared for the coroner.

On Tuesday, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said it was a “deeply concerning case” as he called for broadcasters and production companies to have “appropriate levels of support in place”.

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