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C21May iPad

Kyle Show tragedy sparks gov’t inquiry

The Jeremy Kyle Show was cancelled by ITV this week

The UK government has launched an inquiry into the welfare of TV show participants and media regulator Ofcom is looking to update its code of conduct in the wake of the death of a guest on ITV’s Jeremy Kyle Show.

Commercial broadcaster ITV suspended and then permanently cancelled the long-running morning chatshow this week following the death of Steve Dymond on May 9, a week after he appeared on an unaired episode.

The latest incident has sparked heated debate in the UK about the welfare of people who participate in chat and reality programmes and the House of Commons media select committee has now announced an investigation into whether TV companies are offering enough psychological support and aftercare.

MP Damian Collins, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, said: “There needs to be an independent review of the duty of care TV companies have to participants in reality TV shows.

“Programmes like The Jeremy Kyle Show risk putting people who might be vulnerable on to a public stage at a point in their lives when they are unable to foresee the consequences, either for themselves or their families.

“With an increasing demand for this type of programming, we’ll be examining broadcasting regulation in this area – is it fit for purpose?”

Media regulator Ofcom, meanwhile, has demanded a report from ITV into Mr Dymond’s death by Monday next week.

The Jeremy Kyle show – known for heated arguments between guests, lie detector tests and audience heckling of participants – has often faced criticism for its treatment of vulnerable guests.

UK media regulator Ofcom said the show had failed to prevent the distress and humiliation of a 17-year-old participant in 2014, while in 2007 a judge branded it a “human form of bear baiting” after a man was convicted of assaulting another person on stage.

ITV’s smash hit reality format Love Island has also come in for scrutiny following the deaths of Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon who both committed suicide after appearing on previous seasons of the show. ITV still intends to air the 2019 version this summer, despite the controversy.

Media regulator Ofcom, meanwhile, has demanded a report from ITV into Mr Dymond’s death by Monday next week.

The Jeremy Kyle Show – known for heated arguments between guests, lie detector tests and audience heckling of participants – has often faced criticism for its treatment of vulnerable guests.

Ofcom said the show had failed to prevent the distress and humiliation of a 17-year-old participant in 2014, while in 2007 a judge branded it a “human form of bear baiting” after a man was convicted of assaulting another person on stage.

ITV’s hit reality format Love Island has also come in for scrutiny following the deaths of Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon, who both committed suicide after appearing on previous seasons of the show.

ITV still intends to air the 2019 version this summer, despite the controversy.

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