Belfast Telegraph

Jeremy Kyle invited to appear before MPs investigating reality TV

The presenter’s controversial daytime show was cancelled following the death of a participant.

Jeremy Kyle (Mike Egerton/PA)
Jeremy Kyle (Mike Egerton/PA)

Jeremy Kyle has been asked to appear before MPs investigating reality TV.

ITV axed The Jeremy Kyle Show in May, following the death of participant Steve Dymond.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee then launched an inquiry into reality TV.

Senior executives from ITV will be the first to give evidence to the probe.

But DCMS Committee chairman Damian Collins said Kyle had been invited to take part and has been given until June 13 to respond.

“We’re hoping that Jeremy Kyle will take this opportunity to come and answer questions about measures taken to prepare and support contestants,” the Tory MP said.

“As someone who was at the centre of this long-running show, we believe that his perspective on reality TV will be of particular value to our inquiry.”

MPs will question ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall, ITV chairman Sir Peter Bazalgette, and director of content compliance Chris Wissun on June 25.

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(Ian West/PA)

The inquiry will invite a range of former participants and programme-makers to give evidence over the coming months.

Mr Dymond, 63, died around a week after reportedly failing a love-cheat lie-detector test on Kyle’s confrontational daytime programme.

The construction worker was found in his room in Portsmouth on May 9 after splitting from on-off fiancee Jane Callaghan.

His death came amid growing scrutiny over the duty of care reality TV shows have to participants.

Love Island has returned to ITV2 after coming under increased scrutiny over the show’s aftercare following the deaths of former contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.

ITV recently announced an enhanced duty of care process for participants on the show, including a minimum of eight therapy sessions for contestants.

Presenter Kyle has said he is “utterly devastated” by the death of Mr Dymond.

“Myself and the production team I worked with for the last 14 years are all utterly devastated by the recent events,” he said.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with Steve’s family at this incredibly sad time.”

PA

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