MPs accuse ITV of 'failure of responsibility' towards Jeremy Kyle guests

31 October 2019, 16:19

Producer of The Jeremy Kyle Show have been accused of abusing the vulnerability of their guests
Producer of The Jeremy Kyle Show have been accused of abusing the vulnerability of their guests. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

MPs have accused ITV Studios of "corporate failure of responsibility" towards guests on The Jeremy Kyle Show.

Behind-the-scenes footage, secretly filmed by a whistleblower, shows guests being filmed backstage and in dressing rooms that suggest the programme does not provide sufficient aftercare.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, currently investigating the impact of reality TV, said the footage "makes a mockery" of the aftercare the show claimed to provide.

MPs on the Committee claimed the vulnerability of participants on The Jeremy Kyle Show was being "exploited" for the purpose of entertainment.

Presenter of the show, Jeremy Kyle, would "sometimes (use) abusive language" which "could be edited out of the broadcasted show".

Committee chairman Damian Collins said: "It is clear that once the cameras started rolling on The Jeremy Kyle Show there was no safe space for anyone in a highly distressed state, verified by the behind-the-scenes footage passed to the committee by a whistleblower.

"We've seen one contributor who was extremely upset take refuge backstage only to have a camera thrust in his face to capture him holding his head in his hands.

Previous guests on The Jeremy Kyle Show gave evidence to the committee
Previous guests on The Jeremy Kyle Show gave evidence to the committee. Picture: PA Images

"We've also seen how Jeremy Kyle would use provocative and sometimes abusive language towards participants in the show, and that this could be edited out of the broadcasted show."

He continued: "We've shown this recording to expert advisers who are deeply concerned at ITV's apparent failure to prioritise the welfare of participants over the demands of the show, exploiting their vulnerability for the purpose of entertainment.

"What we've seen demonstrates a failure on the part of ITV Studios in its responsibility towards contributors and makes a mockery of the 'aftercare' it has claimed to provide."

ITV axed The Jeremy Kyle Show in May, following the death of participant Steve Dymond.

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