‘It has ruined my life’: Jeremy Kyle guest says he attempted suicide after show
Guests had less rights than ‘someone in police custody’, it has been claimed.
A former Jeremy Kyle guest said he attempted suicide after being vilified on the show.
Guests were kept in locked rooms backstage and given no aftercare, it was claimed.
Former “most-hated” participant Dwayne Davison said his post-show care was a one-minute phone call and his taxi fare home, after having his possessions taken away and being confined for 10 hours.
He said he attempted to take his own life in the aftermath of The Jeremy Kyle Show.
Fellow guest Robert Gregory said he was brought on the ITV daytime programme to be “crucified” by Kyle over a fabricated family incident.
Both men spoke to the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee about their experiences, and chairman Damian Collins told the pair: “Someone in police custody would have more rights than you were given.”
Mr Davison said he did not want to go ahead with the show, but had already been taken by taxi to the studio and could not afford to get home from Manchester.
He said he attempted suicide in 2018 after becoming the show’s “most-hated” guest, saying: “I wished I could die. It has ruined my life.
“I can’t escape what he has done to me.”
“It’s like getting a dog and winding it up, getting another dog and winding it up, and setting them on each other.”
Mr Davison and Mr Gregory were giving evidence to MPs investigating reality TV following the death of participant Steve Dymond, which led to ITV axing the show in May.
Guests giving evidence said their stories and words were manipulated for the show, and they were sent off without any care.
They crucified me. They absolutely ripped me apart
Mr Davison said of his first day at the studio: “We’ve been hauled into this now, we can’t get out of it.
“I’m locked into a room. The smallest, tiniest room you’ve ever seen.
“Your phone is taken off you. I’m sat in this room for 10 hours, the door’s locked.
“My partner has been taken away from me. So you’re anxious.”
Mr Davison said that Kyle was offensive to guests in order to provoke them, and these outbursts were edited out.
The former guest claimed whatever he said back stage was twisted, amplified, or just made up, in order to make him into a villain.
He said: “He’s fabricated 100 things about me. I came out to 200 people booing.
“I’ve lost two jobs now because of this. There aren’t that many jobs where I’m from.
“The managers find out about The Jeremy Kyle Show and then bang, gone.”
Mr Gregory, who was 70 when he appeared on the show, said he was accused of abandoning his son, who he actually had no knowledge of.
He said he was vilified on the show for his alleged abandonment, despite telling producers the facts about his past.
He said: “They crucified me. They absolutely ripped me apart.
“I said, you’ve obviously decided I am a bad person
“There is no aftercare, it doesn’t exist.”
He added on the prospect of Kyle getting another TV slot: “There should not be allowed any programming that absolutely crucifies people and make their life miserable.”
Mr Davison said he has been plagued by internet trolls and people shouting at him in public.
He said emphatically of his treatment on the show: “I blame ITV for letting that happen.”
A spokeswoman for ITV responded: “As a producer and broadcaster ITV takes its responsibilities around duty of care to participants very seriously.
“Supporting the physical and mental health of everyone involved in our programmes is our highest priority.
“ITV constantly strives for best practice in all our programmes, and last year we asked Dr Paul Litchfield, a former chief medical officer with extensive experience of working with large companies and government in the area of mental health, to independently review our processes on Love Island.
“This review led us to extend our support processes for this year’s series to a level that we consider industry-leading.
“ITV has a duty of care charter which extensively details our commitment to the care we take for the physical and mental health of those participating in our productions.
“We are also working with our own and independent producers as well as with PACT (a trade association for commercial TV) to drive best practice industry wide and we are constantly monitoring, developing and evolving our processes to keep up with changing needs in this critical area.
“As an example, we have engaged Dr Paul Litchfield CBE to independently review and offer ITV guidance about what sort of specialist (psychologist, psychiatrist or psychotherapist) is appropriate to carry out screening, care during filming and aftercare for the wide variety of shows we make.
“We were truly sorry to hear that Dwayne was experiencing mental health problems and suicidal thoughts and have apologised to him that we did not remove the clips from our official ITV YouTube channel.
“We have offered to pay for counselling, as he has requested.”