UK axes talk show after death of participant

Volatile UK talk show The Jeremy Kyle Show has been suspended indefinitely after the death of a guest.

The Jeremy Kyle Show launched in 2005 as the UK’s answer to The Jerry Springer Show and has clocked up more than 3,000 episodes. Guests discuss personal conflicts and relationship problems in front of a studio audience, but some lead to confrontations which see on-air security guards separate participants, while Kyle throws in heated questions.

ITV will no air the episode which featured a man it did not identify. However, multiple UK reports citing people who said they knew him as Steve Dymond, 63. Some reports suggest he failed an on-air lie detector test in an episode about faithfulness to his partner and had thoughts about suicide in the days following.

A spokesperson for the broadcaster said: “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.

“ITV will not screen the episode in which they featured. Given the seriousness of this event, ITV has also decided to suspend both filming and broadcasting of The Jeremy Kyle Show with immediate effect in order to give it time to conduct a review of this episode of the show.”

ITV has removed all episodes from its catch-up service and dumped repeat episodes. But he incident has raised further questions about duty of care and the way reality television is made.

Earlier this year ITV said it would review the support it offered to people who appeared on Love Island after the suicides of former contestants.

In 2014, UK media regulator Ofcom criticised The Jeremy Kyle Show for not doing enough to prevent the distress and humiliation of a 17-year-old guest who was called a “crackhead” and a “silly anorexic slapper” by her older sister.

Update: ITV has now axed the show entirely.

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Source: The Guardian, Metro


  1. The theme of this type of reality show says it all doesn’t it, ’emotional / sexual conflict and relationship adversity’. Modern society is developing a new style sociopath who is solely concerned about promoting personal kudos and status so it shouldn’t be surprising that there will be victims when such personalities exploit vulnerable people to achieve their aims. Reality TV in general does expose a rather unkind underbelly of society where someone’s humiliation and failure becomes entertainment, the willingness of these contestants to be exploited as they look for money and fame makes it all the more watchable.

  2. Love Island is in the plural for numbers of suicides from former contestants?! How is that show still an ongoing thing if there is a clear and evident risk as a consequence of participation?

  3. This is not only something that is isolated to The Jeremy Kyle Show. Deaths had occurred to guests after appearing on other talk shows, such as The Jerry Springer Show and The Jenny Jones Show. A part of the appeal of shows that have themes like relationship conflicts is entertainment when the focus should be on resolution.

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