Thursday 23 May 2019

Raft of calls for 'Jeremy Kyle Show' to be cancelled after guest dies shortly after shooting an episode

Off the air: Jeremy Kyle. Photo: PA
Off the air: Jeremy Kyle. Photo: PA

Alex Matthews-King

The 'Jeremy Kyle Show' should be taken off air permanently in the wake of the death of a participant, leading mental health experts have said, as they likened it to the practice of feeding Christians to the lions in ancient Rome.

The programme was the "theatre of cruelty" and should be dropped, said Simon Wessely, a former president of Britain's Royal College of Psychiatrists and current head of the Royal Society of Medicine.

He spoke out after the programme was pulled off air by ITV following the death of a guest, named as Steve Dymond (63)from Portsmouth. He had reportedly failed a lie-detector test on the show.

"I think it should be dropped," said Mr Wessely. "It's the theatre of cruelty. And yes, it might entertain a million people a day, but then again, so did Christians versus Lions."

The show alone would not be the sole factor in Mr Dymond's death, but knowing it would be broadcast to a million people could have amplified any feelings of shame or guilt and could trigger a "breakdown", he said.

The show is based around guests trying to resolve their issues with each other. Topics often include extramarital affairs, addiction and familial conflicts.

ITV has said it is reviewing the latest events and will not be screening the show, but it has already come under scrutiny for its handling of reality TV contestants after the death by suicide of two former 'Love Island' contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.

Irish Independent

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