The Jeremy Kyle Show (found unaired footage of British daytime talk show; 2005-2019)
The Jeremy Kyle Show was an ITV daytime talk show hosted by broadcaster, journalist and writer Jeremy Kyle from 2005-2019. It typically involved Kyle and guests attempting to resolve significant personal issues, including DNA tests, cheating accusations, and addiction. Following the suicide of guest Steve Dymond, the show was cancelled on 15th May 2019, and a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee investigated the show as part of its inquiry into reality television. As part of its investigation, the Committee were given behind-the-scenes footage of the show from a whistleblower.
The Jeremy Kyle Show already had a controversial history, facing criticism for exploiting vulnerable members of the British public. In 2007, a judge, who preceded over a case where one of the show's guests headbutted another in front of the cameras, described it as "human bear-baiting", with similar criticism coming from The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, who called for an ITV review on how the show treated guests. Its biggest controversy came in May 2019, when guest Steve Dymond committed suicide days after he failed a lie detector on the show, with Kyle reportedly branding Dymond as a "serial liar" and a "failure" among other comments. Following this, ITV decided to cancel the show on 15th May 2019, conducting an internal investigation into the show's conduct.
Dymond's suicide occurred at the same time the ITV reality show Love Island was also facing heavy criticism over the suicides of previous contestants Sophie Gradon in 2018 and Mike Thalassitis in 2019. Prior to Dymond's death, it was claimed that 38 people had died in suspected suicides that were connected towards reality shows they appeared in, leading to concerns that the shows were not properly screening to prevent vulnerable people from appearing on them, and were not providing enough mental health support during and following filming.
Thus, a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) consisting of MPs was launched on 15th May 2019 to investigate how reality television was being handled. It considered how the industry was treating participants, including whether enough support was provided pre, during and post-filming, and whether further regulatory oversight was required for future reality shows. The Jeremy Kyle Show was one of the main programs investigated, with ITV higher-ups and Kyle being requested to give oral evidence. However, Kyle declined to appear at an inquiry on 18th June, leading to heavy criticism, with one MP believing Kyle should be jailed. On 31st July, the inquiry found that the show intentionally targeted individuals for lie detectors and DNA tests, including via Facebook advertisements. It led to concerns about whether the show was exploiting individuals by exposing their personal situations, and whether the aftercare provided for sufficient for participants that were to appear on national television.
On 31st October, the Committee revealed it had viewed unaired behind-the-scenes footage provided by a whistleblower. It showed that filming of contestants occurred not only backstage but also within the dressing rooms. One incident show a clearly distressed individual seek an escape outside the show, only for a camera to be directed at them, with him holding his head in his hands. The Committee also requested unedited footage of an episode of the show, where they noted how aggressive Kyle was in the clips, often confronting the guests in derogatory fashion, including calling a guest "gob-shite", which was ultimately edited out in the broadcasted version.
Similarly, former guest Dwayne Davison claimed he attempted to commit suicide following his ordeal on the show. He alleged that Kyle was highly aggressive to him, including labelling him with insults and expletives, stating that the power of editing removed most of these comments from Kyle in favour of making it appear only the guests were foul-mouthed. Damian Collins, MP Chair of the DCMS Committee, believed that the show provided no safe space for any distressed individuals, and felt that the recordings he and the expert advisers witnessed showed that ITV failed to handle appropriately the welfare of its reality television guests, often exploiting them for entertainment value. The Committee, therefore, accused ITV of corporate failure of responsibility towards participants of the show.
In the days following the show's cancellation, ITV ordered that the show be taken off-air and from its ITV Hub, and that its official online channels be completely removed, including its official website. Essentially, ITV had removed virtually all traces of both the British and American versions of the show. Thus, ITV's decision to distance itself from The Jeremy Kyle Show indicated that a public release of further unaired behind-the-scenes footage was extremely unlikely, given the controversial context following the DCMS Committee inquiry. However, additional notable footage would be showcased on Channel 4's two-part documentary Jeremy Kyle Show: Death on Daytime, broadcast from 13th-14th March 2022.
- The Jeremy Kyle Show (lost unaired Steve Dymond episode of British daytime talk show; 2019)
- The Jeremy Kyle Show (partially found American spin-off of British daytime talk show; 2011-2013)
- The Jeremy Kyle Show (partially found episodes and online content of British daytime talk show; 2005-2019)
- Archived ITV page regarding the show's premise. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- The Guardian reporting on the controversies surrounding The Jeremy Kyle Show. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- BBC News reporting on Dymond's cause of death. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- Metro reporting on Jeremy Kyle's comments towards Steve Dymond. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- ITV press release confirming the show's immediate cancellation. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- The Guardian reporting on ITV's announcement that an internal review overproduction would occur. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- Daily Record detailing the suicides of Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis. Since then, two others linked to Love Island have committed suicide. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- Metro reporting on the 38 suicides linked to reality shows prior to Dymond's death. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- The Guardian discussing many reality show-linked suicides that have occurred, including that of Steve Dymond. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- UK Parliament reporting on the DCMS Committees announcement that it would investigate reality television. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- Film + TV Charity reporting on the DCMS Committee inquiry. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- BBC News reporting on Kyle and ITV executives being requested to appear in a DCMS Committee inquiry. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- BBC News reporting on Kyle refusing to appear at an inquiry. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- Daily Mirror reporting on one MP believing Kyle should be jailed for refusing to be at an inquiry. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- UK Parliament publishing the DCMS Committee's 31st July findings. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- The Guardian reporting on the 31st July findings. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- UK Parliament publishing the DCMS Committee's 31st October findings. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- Daily Mirror reporting on the unaired footage and of Davison's claims. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- ITV News reporting on ITV Studios being accused by the DCMS Committee of corporate failure of responsibility over The Jeremy Kyle Show. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- Daily Mirror reporting on the official website being deleted not long following the cancellation of the show. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- Plymouth Herald article reporting the deletion of the show's social media content. Retrieved 27 Dec '21
- Manchester Evening News reporting that ITV had removed virtually all traces of the show. Retrieved 27 Dec '21