Belfast Telegraph

Danniella Westbrook defends Jeremy Kyle and says he saved her life

The actress is among the people who have reacted to the news that ITV have cancelled The Jeremy Kyle Show permanently.

Danniella Westbrook leaving the Celebrity Big Brother house ( Ian West/PA)
Danniella Westbrook leaving the Celebrity Big Brother house ( Ian West/PA)

Danniella Westbrook said she would not be alive without the help of Jeremy Kyle as she spoke about her appearances on his programme, which has been cancelled permanently by ITV.

Following the death of Steve Dymond, 63, who had appeared on the The Jeremy Kyle Show, ITV announced its decision to end the controversial programme for good.

In a statement, the broadcaster’s chief executive Carolyn McCall said “given the gravity of recent events” it has decided to end the show, which had a 14-year run.

Ex-EastEnders star Westbrook was due to appear in a celebrity edition of the show alongside former X Factor contestant Christopher Maloney.

She had also previously appeared on the programme to seek help and talk about her high-profile battle with substance abuse and was sent to rehab courtesy of the show.

Appearing on Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine Show, she said: “If it wasn’t for Jeremy Kyle I probably wouldn’t be alive myself.”

She told Vine her son had pleaded with her not to appear on the show but said she had done it for the fee.

The actress praised Kyle and his team, including psychotherapist Graham Stanier, for their support and level of care.

He was hard on me but someone needed to be and he was hard on me because he is my friend Danniella Westbrook

She said: “They really have looked after me and you know, since I’ve been in rehab I’ve spoken to Jeremy all the time and Graham and the team and went I went back on the show, reassessed and (I was) really looked after.

“This is my friend of 20 years and he was hard on me but someone needed to be and he was hard on me because he is my friend.”

Former X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan, who appeared on ITV’s reality singing series in 2012, urged the broadcaster to alter the way they “see their responsibility to the people on your shows”.

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Lucy Spraggan was a contestant on the X Factor in 2012 (ITV/PA)

In one of a number of strongly-worded tweets, she said: “ITV, change the way you see your responsibility to the people on your shows.

“Start/improve aftercare, accept responsibility, give them HELP. As one show is axed another will begin and the perpetual process will start again. I’ve been there, it’s f****** lonely.”

The broadcaster’s ratings success, Love Island, which airs on ITV2, is due to begin in a few weeks.

The show made headlines recently over its duty of care for contestants following the death of two former Islanders.

In a statement following the death of Love Island star Mike Thalassitis, the broadcaster said it evolved the support given to each contestant with each series.

Its statement added: “The key focus will be for us to no longer be reliant on the Islanders asking us for support but for us to proactively check in with them on a regular basis.”

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