The Jeremy Kyle Show was permanently cancelled by ITV today following the death of a guest just a week after he appeared on the programme.
ITV’s chief executive Carolyn McCall said today: ‘Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of The Jeremy Kyle Show.
‘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.
‘Everyone at ITV’s thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Steve Dymond.’
It comes after former ITV chief Michael Grade had said the broadcaster would ‘probably lose a very popular show’ over the crisis engulfing Jeremy Kyle.
Lord Grade said it would be difficult for ITV to bring back the show after the death of Steven Dymond, 63, of Portsmouth, unless it was ‘completely exonerated’.
But the former executive chairman pointed out guests go onto the confrontational chat show ‘knowing exactly what they’re in for’ because of its popularity.
Lord Grade, 76, told BBC News: ‘I think they’re managing it extremely well, they’ve got an enquiry, Ofcom are coming in to look at the tragedy and see who’s to blame or what lessons can be learned.
Digger driver Steven Dymond died a week after appearing on The Jeremy Kyle Show
‘They’re going to lose a very popular show, probably. It will be very difficult to bring it back now unless there are some reasons we don’t know that they’re completely exonerated.
‘I don’t think it hurts ITV. They’ve got a hole in the schedule. They’ve got some very creative people there, they’ll come up with some new format, some new idea – it’s an opportunity as much as anything.
‘But I think they’re right, absolutely right to take the programme off the air. I think they’ve behaved impeccably. These crises are all about how you handle them in the end.’
He added that it was ‘very important to remember that nobody goes onto the Kyle Show not knowing what they’re in for’.
Lord Grade continued: ‘It’s a very well-known show and when you agree to participate, you know you’re going into a sort-of tabloid confrontational situation.
ITV will reveal the future of The Jeremy Kyle Show today after it was taken off air indefinitely
‘It’s not like they are caught unaware. So people do go in knowing exactly what they’re in for.’
News of Mr Dymond’s death prompted an outcry and ITV has been urged to end the confrontational programme for good.
Jeremy Kyle arrives back at his £3million home in Windsor yesterday evening
The Prime Minister’s spokesman described the incident as ‘deeply concerning’, while MPs on an influential Commons committee are due to discuss the case today.
Mr Dymond took a lie-detector test on May 2 to convince fiancee Jane Callaghan he had not been unfaithful, but was told he had failed.
His son Carl Woolley, 39, said his father had been ‘distraught’ over the breakdown of his relationship and hoped the show would help him ‘clear his name’.
The broadcaster’s chief executive, Dame Carolyn McCall, addressed the issue in an email to ITV staff earlier this week.
‘This was a very difficult decision to make but we felt that it would be inappropriate to continue to broadcast the show when a participant on it has so recently died,’ she wrote.
‘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 this reaction we expect to this death.’
Kyle was filmed near his home in Windsor yesterday, although is yet to comment personally.
Mr Woolley was reportedly contacted by a concerned relative after Mr Dymond was left in a highly emotional state following the recording.
Mr Dymond’s body was found in a flat on this road in Portsmouth on May 9, pictured yesterday
‘I called after he got home from filming the episode,’ Mr Wooley told the Daily Mail.
‘He was distraught over the break-up of the relationship. He had gone on the show solely to clear his name (about allegedly cheating on Ms Callaghan) but he said it had gone wrong because of the lie detector test.’
Carl Woolley said his father was devastated after the show destroyed his relationship
Referring to his father by his first name, Mr Woolley said: ‘Steve told me ‘Kyle really laid into me’. Presumably that was at the point when they announced the lie detector result.’
Prior to the phone call, the father and son are said to have not spoken for seven years and had not seen each other in person for 36 years.
Mr Dymond’s body was found at an address in Portsmouth on May 9.
Hampshire Police said the death is not being treated as suspicious and a file was being prepared for the coroner.
It emerged yesterday that Mr Dymond had been the subject of a warrant after he failed to attend a court hearing for non-payment of a fine.
He was originally ordered to pay nearly £6,000 in compensation to two finance companies in 1997 at Poole Magistrates’ Court.
And in February, Mr Dymond had been due to attend a hearing at Southampton Magistrates’ Court for the non-payment of a fine of £4,329.
After he failed to attend the hearing, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Mr Dymond was discovered dead in the room he had been renting since separating from Jane Callaghan, who appeared on the television show beside him (pictured together)
Yesterday, Downing Street and Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said TV firms must support participants in their shows.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘This is a deeply concerning case.
Jeremy Kyle Show is a ‘theatre of cruelty’
The Jeremy Kyle Show has been branded a ‘theatre of cruelty’ following the apparent suicide of a man who appeared on the programme.
Experts have also urged ITV to drop the programme following the death and compared it to Romans setting lions on Christmas martyrs.
ITV pulled the confrontational talk show indefinitely following the death of a guest, named as Steve Dymond, a week after the programme was filmed.
Professor Sir Simon Wessely, former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said the show should be dropped and Jeremy Kyle’s ‘help’ stretches the meaning of the word to the limit.
He said powerful emotions of shame and guilt can lead to a breakdown and these psychological forces are amplified by the show’s large audience.
There have been calls for a review into the impact of reality TV on the mental health of vulnerable people and concerns have been raised over the damage caused by public ‘shaming’.
Professor Sir Simon said: ‘I think it should be dropped, actually. It’s the theatre of cruelty. And yes, it might entertain a million people a day, but then again so did Christians versus lions.
‘Of course, the show will not be the only factor implicated. But like all social media, this show is an amplifying force, multiplier.
‘Shame/guilt is a very powerful emotion and we know that it can precipitate a ‘breakdown’ to use the vernacular, just as with a family context or in a tight social group such as an army unit. So it’s not difficult to imagine that this is multiplied when the audience is a million.
‘Plus, the idea that as the programme website says ‘Jeremy is here to help’ is stretching the verb ‘to help’ beyond any normal meaning of help, it’s almost an offence under the Trade Descriptions Act.’
‘Broadcasters and production companies have a responsibility for the mental health and wellbeing of participants and viewers of their programmes.
‘We are clear they must have appropriate levels of support in place.’
Damian Collins, chairman of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS), said it will discuss ‘what should be done to review the duty of care support for people appearing in reality TV shows’ in its private meeting on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the Ofcom broadcasting watchdog said Mr Dymond’s death was ‘very distressing’.
They added: ‘Although we can only assess content that has been broadcast, we are discussing this programme with ITV as a priority to understand what took place.’
Ms Callaghan told The Sun that Mr Dymond had been ‘quietly struggling’, but praised the show’s team for their after-care efforts.
ITV has launched a review into the episode they featured in.
However some social media users questioned why The Jeremy Kyle Show faces being axed and Love Island is still on air following the deaths of two contestants
Sophie Gradon, 32, who appeared on series two in 2016, was found dead last June, while Mike Thalassitis, 26, who took part a year later, died in March.
Chris Dennis tweeted: ‘Can someone at ITV please explain why there’s talk of pulling the Jeremy Kyle Show for good when someone has died, but you’re still adamant about Love Island starting in a few weeks? I seem to remember guests from that show have died recently too…? Thanks.’
Ollie Dockery added: ‘So Jeremy Kyle gets cancelled due to the possible effect it had resulting in a participants’ death, yet Love Island has had two participants take their own life in a far shorter period of time? If you’re gonna pretend you care about mental health, ITV, at least be consistent.’
An ITV spokesman said: ‘Prior to the show a comprehensive assessment is carried out by the guest welfare team on all potential contributors. The guests are interviewed by guest welfare face-to-face at studios and prior to filming.
‘Throughout filming, the participants are supported by the guest welfare team. After filming has ended, all guests are seen by a member of the guest welfare team.’