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Committee publishes written submission regarding the Jeremy Kyle Show

31 October 2019

Committee accuses ITV of corporate failure of responsibility towards Kyle show participants

Details are contained in evidence published today as a joint statement submitted by expert advisers to the DCMS Committee: Dr Hayley Dare, Chartered Consultant Clinical Psychologist, and Helen Wood, Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at Lancaster University.

ITV studios is accused of failing in its responsibility towards reality show contributors after the DCMS Committee viewed new footage passed to it by a whistleblower. The video goes behind the scenes at The Jeremy Kyle Show demonstrating how the filming of contestants continued backstage and in dressing rooms.

The expert advisers also viewed unedited footage of an edition of The Jeremy Kyle Show provided by ITV at the request of the Committee. They noted that in the broadcast version of the show, a participant's expletives are blanked out in a way to make them still apparent, while Jeremy Kyle's use of the word “gob-shite” towards the participant was seamlessly edited out.
The use of body language by Jeremy Kyle is viewed as exacerbating a confrontation with a participant, with the presenter standing up to speak to the participant in a derogatory manner in a raised voice.

The Reality TV inquiry was launched following events leading up to the decision to axe The Jeremy Kyle Show. It is considering the duty of care offered by broadcasters and programme makers to participants in reality TV. 

Chair's comment

Damian Collins MP Chair of the DCMS Committee 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.

“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.

“The overriding concern of the Reality TV inquiry has been to examine the production companies' duty of care towards people who take part, often at an extremely vulnerable point in their lives. 

“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.”

Further information

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