ITV Cancels Talk Show After Death of Guest
"Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of 'The Jeremy Kyle Show,'" said ITV CEO Carolyn McCall, with the U.K. government later unveiling a probe into reality TV.
U.K. TV giant ITV said Wednesday that it has canceled tabloid talk show The Jeremy Kyle Show after the death of a guest.
The news was treated as a potential death by suicide.
"Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of The Jeremy Kyle Show," said ITV CEO Carolyn McCall. "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."
She added: "Everyone at ITV's thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Steve Dymond.” Dymond, 63, was found dead last week after recording an episode of the show, which has been compared to The Jerry Springer Show.
The British government later in the day said it would conduct a probe into reality TV as a result of the death. "The inquiry will consider production companies’ duty of care to participants, and ask whether enough support is offered both during and after filming, and whether there is a need for further regulatory oversight in this area," the parliamentary committee for media and other issues said.
Committee chair Damian Collins said: "Programs 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?"
The BBC reported that the episode in question focused on the subject of infidelity, and Dymond took a lie detector test on the show. A member of the audience who was at the recording told the BBC that Dymond was shocked and cried after failing the test, while his fiancee was sobbing.
Members of the U.K. parliament called for the show to be canceled, with Prime Minister Theresa May's office calling the death "deeply concerning."
ITV earlier in the week reiterated that "everyone at ITV and The Jeremy Kyle Show is shocked and saddened at the news of the death of a participant in the show a week after the recording of the episode they featured in, and our thoughts are with their family and friends. We will not screen the episode in which they featured." It suspended both filming and airing of the show.
On Wednesday, ITV said it has canceled the show for good, but would continue to work with Kyle on other projects.