ITV has been urged to end broadcasts of the Jeremy Kyle Show for good after a man who failed a lie-detector test on the programme died days after the recording.
The confrontational talk show was pulled off the air indefinitely by the broadcaster following the death of the guest, named as 63-year-old Steve Dymond, a week after the programme was filmed.
Mr Dymond took a lie-detector test to convince fiancee Jane Callaghan he had not been unfaithful but they split after he failed, according to The Sun.
ITV said staff at the broadcaster and the show’s production team were ‘shocked and saddened’ at the death and the episode will be reviewed.
However, Tory MP Charles Walker, a vice-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on suicide and self-harm prevention, told the Daily Mail: ‘On reflection, ITV would be best advised just to stop it. It’s a very, very unattractive TV show and I’m surprised it’s gone on so long.’
And MP Damian Collins, chairman of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said TV companies ‘have a duty to care to the people who take part in their programmes’, while Tory MP Simon Hart, who also sits on the committee, described the Jeremy Kyle Show as ‘car-crash TV which revels in people’s terrible misfortune and sometimes their vulnerabilities’.
Ms Callaghan said Mr Dymond had been ‘quietly struggling’, but praised the show’s team for their after-care efforts.
She told The Sun: ‘They were brilliant. They were there when he needed help. They were really persistent in offering him help.’
Ms Callaghan said that just before they went on the show, Mr Dymond had convinced her he had not cheated.
She told The Sun the pair split up after the show, reportedly filmed on May 2, and last saw him four days later before Mr Dymond was found dead last week.
She added: ‘I can’t see Steve taking his life without explaining it to me first. But he always said he would never love someone else.’
A Hampshire Police spokeswoman confirmed police were called at 1.24pm on Thursday May 9 to an address in Portsmouth following the discovery of a body of a man in his 60s. The death is not being treated as suspicious.
A spokeswoman for Portsmouth coroner’s office said: ‘HM Coroner has ordered a post-mortem to be carried out and is awaiting the result. An inquest is likely to be opened into the death within the next few days.’
Yesterday morning’s episode of the Jeremy Kyle Show did not air and ITV has now wiped all episodes of the programme from its on-demand service the ITV Hub, and episodes will not air on ITV2.
Meanwhile, an email sent to staff by ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall said that it ‘was a very difficult decision to make’ to halt filming and broadcasting of the programme, but that they felt it would be ‘inappropriate to continue to broadcast the show when a participant on it has so recently died’.
The email said: ‘This decision is not in any way a reflection on the show, but the best way we think we can protect the show and the production team from the reaction we expect to this death.’
The company-wide message also stated that ITV Studios’ managing director Julian Bellamy would travel to Manchester, where the talk show is filmed, to meet with the production team.
It said that ‘everyone involved’ will be offered support from the Employee Assistance Programme, as well as access to counsellors.