Update: The Jeremy Kyle Show has been cancelled. ITV’s CEO Carolyn McCall said, “Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production. 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.”
Original post: The man believed to have killed himself shortly after appearing as a guest on The Jeremy Kyle Show has been identified as Steven Dymond, whose relationship ended on the British talk show after he failed a lie-detector test.
The 63-year-old grandfather was found dead from a suspected drug overdose at his rental in Hampshire, England, 10 days after filming the ITV daytime show.
Dymond had appeared on the chat show with his on/off long-term girlfriend, Jane Callaghan, and was labeled a “love cheat” after failing the lie-detector test.
Callaghan told The Sun newspaper she and Dymond split after filming the show, which has been compared to The Jerry Springer Show.
Shortly before his death, Dymond sent Callaghan a text saying: "I can’t live without you. I just wanted to come and see you. I just wanted to say sorry before I go. My life is not worth living without you."
Callaghan revealed that Dymond had been diagnosed with depression in February but obtained a doctor’s note in order to take part in the show, insisting he would prove to her he had remained faithful.
Dymond had only recently discovered he was a grandfather after reconnecting with his son shortly before appearing on the show. He had yet to meet his grandchild.
Dymond’s landlady, identified only as Shelley, told the Daily Mail she informed ITV about his death after calling a number she found on his phone.
The 55-year-old landlady claimed Dymond had been suicidal after failing the lie-detector test.
“He was traumatized,” she said. “Steve said it got quite nasty on the show. Four days later he was dead. I really believe it was the show that tipped him over the edge."
ITV said the show has been “suspended indefinitely” so that a full investigation can be done and removed all previous episodes its on-demand service.
There have been calls for the show — which began in 2005 and is in its 16th season — to be permanently taken off the air. British actress and comedian Kathy Burke was among celebrities who took to Twitter to call for ITV to cancel it for good.
Hope it's the end of that vile, Kyle show.— kath 🙀❄️🇪🇺💚 (@KathyBurke) May 13, 2019
Several members of Parliament have spoken out as well. Charles Walker, vice-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on suicide and self-harm prevention, told the Daily Mail: “On reflection, ITV would be best advised just to stop it.”
Damian Collins, who’s chairman of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said TV companies “have a duty to care to the people who take part in their programs.” And Simon Hart, who also sits on the committee, described The Jeremy Kyle Show as “car-crash TV which revels in people’s terrible misfortune and sometimes their vulnerabilities.”
A TV insider who claims he used to work on The Jeremy Kyle Show has said the death of a recent guest is “the tip of the iceberg” and accused the program of “exploiting” vulnerable guests.
The insider, who tweets under the handle @tvtenterhooks, claims in their bio that they “find people for TV shows” and said they worked on The Jeremy Kyle Show for six months.
“Can assure you, story is the tip of the iceberg,” they wrote. “Exploiting people with serious mental health/addiction problems. Promise ‘aftercare’ after f**king people’s lives up.”
They added: “Can’t tell you how long I’ve waited for this s**t to be investigated.”
The controversy comes in the wake of increased discussion around aftercare for people who appear on television triggered by the death of Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis, who was found dead in March at the age of 26.
Sophie Gradon, 32, who appeared on the hit program in 2016, was found hanged in June by her boyfriend, who later took his own life in similar circumstances.
Love Island has since promised to extend its support process and proactively offer help to contestants.
This story was originally published on May 14, 2019 at 8:40 a.m.
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