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Jeremy Kyle: ITV under fire after whistleblower leaks ‘humiliating’ footage

ITV has been accused of “corporate failure of responsibility” towards Jeremy Kyle Show participants, by MPs who were given behind-the-scenes footage from a whistleblower.

The digital, culture, media and sport committee said the video showed how filming continued backstage and in dressing rooms, leaving “no safe space”.

Kyle, who presented the series for 14 years, used “provocative and sometimes abusive language” which could later be edited out of the show that went on air, MPs said.

Steve Dymond - Jeremy Kyle
Image: Participant Steve Dymond died a week after filming an episode of the show

Expert advisers said the footage showed that “humiliation, denigration and provocation” of participants had become “normalised”.

The Jeremy Kyle Show was axed earlier this year following the death of guest Steve Dymond, a week after he filmed an episode of the confrontational daytime programme.

Releasing details of the footage seen by MPs, DCMS 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.

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“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.”

Mr Collins said the committee’s inquiry into reality TV, which was launched after the show was axed in May, aimed to “examine the production companies’ duty of care towards people who take part, often at an extremely vulnerable point in their lives”.

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.”

Amber Gill and Greg O'Shea have won Love Island. Pic: ITV
Image: Love Island is also under scrutiny following the deaths of two contestants

Earlier in October, a pre-inquest review into Mr Dymond’s death heard that he had stopped taking anti-depressants in order to take the show’s lie-detector test, and told a researcher “I wish I was dead”.

The 63-year-old’s death prompted national outcry against reality TV shows, including ITV’s dating show Love Island, from which two former contestants, Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, have taken their own lives.

Kyle has been asked to appear before MPs but has not done so.

In August, ITV’s director of television told Sky News that the broadcaster was piloting a new show with the presenter.

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