Jeremy Kyle piloting new show, says ITV boss
Jeremy Kyle is piloting a new show to air on ITV, the broadcaster’s director of television has told Sky News.
Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Kevin Lygo confirmed that a new project with the presenter was being road-tested, and also that his investigative series The Kyle Files will return in 2020.
It comes following the cancellation of The Jeremy Kyle Show after 14 years, after the death of a participant in May.
Asked by Sky News presenter Kay Burley about whether Kyle would return to morning television, Lygo said: “No, I doubt he will [return to the same slot].
“I can’t imagine what we would do. I have spoken to him about it, of course, and I think he feels as well that whatever he does next, it shouldn’t be in that 9.30am slot.
“We have an ongoing commitment to The Kyle Files which is his style of journo thing which will be ready next year sometime.
“We are piloting something with him and we will just have to have a look because he is a consummate broadcaster and it would be absolutely wrong to apportion blame of the show against the presenter of it.
“We don’t hold him in any bad way. We will look to find another show with him but I think it is unlikely it will go in the same slot.”
The Jeremy Kyle Show was permanently cancelled following the death of Steve Dymond, 63, whose body was found at his home in Portsmouth on 9 May, shortly after failing a lie detector test while filming for the programme.
An inquest into his death has been opened and adjourned until November.
However, the initial hearing was told he had been worried about the repercussions of his appearance and police said suicide was suspected.
Kyle said at the time that he was “utterly devastated”.
In June, those with links to the show were asked to give evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, although Kyle did not attend.
Executive producer Tom McLennan said the show made it “very clear” to viewers and participants that the lie detector tests are “not 100% accurate”, but added that Kyle “strongly believed” in them.
Committee chairman Damian Collins said it was “astonishing” that Mr McLennan could not provide the exact level of accuracy of lie detector tests, and other MPs accused the show of “tearing apart” its guests.
Last month, Ofcom put forward new proposals to hold broadcasters responsible for the “wellbeing and dignity” of TV participants, including reality show contestants.
It follows the controversy surrounding not just The Jeremy Kyle Show but also ITV2 series Love Island, after the suicides of two former contestants, Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon.
Mr Lygo also defended ITV’s decision to continue airing Love Island while speaking at the TV festival.
“I don’t think Love Island and Jeremy Kyle are the same in any way,” he said. “The awful tragedies of people dying. This was years after they appeared on the show.
“They had appeared on other shows. They had gone on with their lives.”
He added: “All we know about suicide is that it is a very complex issue and there is not one trigger that does it.
“I don’t feel there is a direct connection or enough significance to cancel Love Island because someone who was on it has gone through a tragic experience.”
- Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email email@example.com