Two former Love Island contestants have told MPs about their struggles in dealing with life in the spotlight after leaving the ITV show.
Yewande Biala and Marcel Somerville appeared in front of a parliamentary committee today as part of a government probe into reality TV and broadcasters’ duty of care.
Somerville described the aftermath of Love Island as “the worst time of my life” due to media scrutiny and abuse from social media trolls.
“For me that was the worst part of doing the show,” he told the Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) select committee. “Everything that happens during that time is magnified.”
However, both Biala and Somerville said their experiences on the show had been predominantly positive, and said they had received psychiatric support before and after filming.
Biala, who appeared on the show this year, said she had also received social media training and advice on how to handle trolls. Somerville said he was not given this guidance when he took part in 2017.
MPs also heard evidence from two former participants on The Jeremy Kyle Show, the controversial reality TV series that has now been axed by ITV.
Dwayne Davison, who has been branded the show’s “most hated” guest, said he believed he had been manipulated by the show’s producers.
“The Jeremy Kyle show, indirectly, has ruined my life,” he said. “I feel like I can’t escape it – even today I still feel like I’ve got the weight around my shoulders.”
The DCMS committee launched an inquiry into reality TV in May following the deaths of a former Jeremy Kyle show guest and two former Love Island contestants.
Regulator Ofcom has also outlined new rules to ensure that TV bosses have a duty of care over people who take part in their programmes.
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