Friday 24 May 2019

Virgin Media Television removes Jeremy Kyle Show from schedules as controversy grows

Confrontational: ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ has been aired since 2005
Confrontational: ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ has been aired since 2005
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Virgin Media has pulled The Jeremy Kyle Show from its schedule in the wake of the controversy surrounding the show in the UK.

Channel bosses at ITV announced yesterday that production on the show had been permanently ended following the death of guest Steve Dymond (63) earlier this month.

There was huge pressure on the broadcaster to pull the plug on the often-inflammatory show after the tragic death of the man, who died after failing a lie detector test on the show.

The episode that he featured in had been due to air on Monday before an 11th-hour decision was made by station bosses to pull it from the schedule.

A spokeswoman for Virgin Media said it will be following suit with its sister stations Virgin Media Three and Virgin Media Two, which often aired the show three hours a day.

"We are mirroring ITV's schedule changes. The Jeremy Kyle Show will be removed from the schedule," she said.

The show will now be replaced by the game show Alphabetical at 9.20am and 1.30pm.

In a statement, ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said: "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."

ITV said that it will continue to work with Kyle on other projects.

The presenter has yet to personally comment on the scandal.

He was known to audiences for acting as a mediator to guests as they revealed infidelities, addictions, dysfunctional relationships and parenting methods, among a myriad of other personal disputes.

He could be gentle and kind but also shouted at them to pull their lives together.

He drew criticism for his hard-nosed style, but also won himself legions of fans for his tactics.

In 2007, Manchester judge Alan Berg described the programme as "human bear-baiting" which existed to "titillate bored members of the public with nothing better to do".

Read more: Jeremy Kyle ‘utterly devastated’ at cancellation of TV show following death of guest

The UK's Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said this incident was a "deeply concerning case" as he called for broadcasters and production companies to have "appropriate levels of support in place".

British media regulator Ofcom said it will review the findings of an internal ITV probe into Mr Dymond's episode.

ITV has faced scrutiny recently over its support for reality show talent following the deaths of two former Love Island contestants, Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.

Following Thalassitis' death, ITV said that its "duty of care is a continuous and ongoing process for each [Love] Islander".

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