Wednesday 15 May 2019 3:33 pm

MPs launch probe into reality TV following Jeremy Kyle Show death

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MPs have launched an inquiry into reality TV shows just hours after ITV axed The Jeremy Kyle Show following the death of a guest.

The DCMS Committee said it will probe production companies’ duty of care to participants and ask whether enough support is offered both during and after filming.

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Following a meeting about the incident this afternoon, the cross-party committee said it would explore whether there was a need for further regulation on reality TV.

It comes after ITV made the decision to permanently cancel popular daytime reality programme The Jeremy Kyle Show after the apparent suicide of former participant Steve Dymond.

Criticism has also been levelled at reality dating show Love Island, also produced by ITV, after the deaths of two former contestants.

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

“This kind of TV featuring members of the public attracts viewing figures in the millions but, in return for ratings, the broadcasters must demonstrate their duty of care to the people whose personal lives are being exposed.”

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Media regulator Ofcom has said it is in discussions with ITV over the programme, describing Dymond’s death as a “very distressing case”.

“The Jeremy Kyle Show has significant and detailed duty of care processes in place for contributors pre, during and post show which have been built up over 14 years, and there have been numerous positive outcomes from this, including people who have resolved complex and long-standing personal problems,” ITV said in a statement following the death.