British Talk Show Suspended Indefinitely After Guest Dies

By Tiffany Meier

Television channel ITV has suspended “The Jeremy Kyle Show” indefinitely after a guest died shortly after appearing in an episode.

British broadcaster ITV said it would not screen the episode in which the person took part.

“Everyone at ITV and The Jeremy Kyle Show is shocked and saddened at the news of the death of a participant in the show a week after the recording of the episode they featured in and our thoughts are with their family and friends,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

“ITV will not screen the episode in which they featured,” the spokesperson added.

“Given the seriousness of this event, ITV has also decided to suspend both filming and broadcasting of The Jeremy Kyle Show with immediate effect in order to give it time to conduct a review of this episode of the show,” the spokesperson said in the statement.

The participant died a week after recording the episode.

Jeremy Kyle, London England
Jeremy Kyle attends the TV Choice Awards 2015 at Hilton Park Lane in London on Sept. 7, 2015. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The show has aired on ITV since 2005 and is known for its heated discussions between guests who often insult each other about personal and family conflicts in front of studio audiences.

“What this show does is to give you perspective on your own life,” Kyle said, according to “The Jeremy Kyle Show” official site. “I often tell myself that I must never complain again about not getting enough kip, or something minor going wrong. Many of the people I meet face terror and tragedy in their lives—and they keep going. I really admire them.”

However, several people have criticized the way the show is run.

In 2007, a judge condemned “The Jeremy Kyle Show” as a “human form of bear baiting” following a guest on the show being convicted of assault. It was the first instance of a person being convicted of assault while on a British talk show, according to The Guardian.

“It seems to me that the whole purpose of ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ is to effect a morbid and depressing display of dysfunctional people who are in some kind of turmoil,” Manchester district judge Alan Berg said, The Guardian reported.

“It is for no more and no less than titillating members of the public who have nothing better to do with their mornings than sit and watch this show which is a human form of bear baiting which goes under the guise of entertainment,” he added.

Following the news of the show being taken off air, several people took to social media to express surprise that it took that long for the show to be suspended.

The Guardian and Observer writer Carole Cadwalladr wrote on Twitter: “I went undercover on Jeremy Kyle show in 2008 & found a vulnerable mentally ill young man being bullied & abused. Now someone’s dead. Amazed it took this long.”

Another person responded and wrote, “I couldn’t agree more,” adding, “I cannot see the positives in exploiting and/or humiliating people for viewing figures but Kyle got rich on it.”

According to the BBC, “The Jeremy Kyle Show” is “the most popular show on ITV’s daytime schedule, with an average of one million viewers and a 22 percent audience share.”

Another person wrote on Twitter: “I worked on Jeremy Kyle for 6 months. Can assure you, story is the tip of the iceberg. Exploiting people with serious mental health/addiction problems. Promise ‘aftercare’ after [expletive] people’s lives up. Can’t tell you how long I’ve waited for this [expletive] to be investigated.”