Jeremy Kyle. The name on everyone’s lips, minds and computer screens today.
The host of The Jeremy Kyle Show found himself without said titular programme this morning when it was axed permanently following the suspected suicide of one of its guests last week.
Steven Dymond appeared on the show earlier this month alongside his on/off partner and after failing a lie detector test was left feeling dejected and, according to his landlady, ‘humiliated’.
Now Kyle’s show has been brought into question amid an investigation, with many wondering how the man who has helmed the programme for 14 years can ever recover from such a loss and situation.
It seems all it not lost for the presenter and journalist – while his show is dust, PR expert Hayley Smith from Boxed Out PR is adamant that while entertainment of this realm needs to be done with, Kyle will remain. Somehow.
‘Jeremy Kyle will no doubt be thinking about his future, and future opportunities. He has built a reputation, and the problem is, so has his show. He needs to think about his options carefully,’ she told Metro.co.uk in the wake of the fracas.
‘The show, and Jeremy, need to be seen to be doing something to support the family [of Dymond] and their loss, and the show needs to take full responsibility of what has happened. I think there will be a question of ethics here, about how the show really researches, and supports its guests.’
All is not lost for the stalwart of British television though, as Smith added: ‘I think there will be work for him, and maybe another TV show.
‘He can recover from this, but he shouldn’t think about reviving The Jeremy Kyle Show.
‘This should be considered as the death of superficial chat shows and reality TV for entertainment purposes. When people take their own lives, we need to take a step back and acknowledge the problems.’
According to the expert, with the popularity of fictional stories such as Killing Eve and the likes of Stacey Dooley documentary shows proves we’re after more intelligence on our screens: ‘There no longer seems to be a place for The Jeremy Kyle Show, or similar TV shows.’
She continued: ‘The popularity of programmes such as Jeremy Kyle, (and Trisha, Jerry Springer and Judge Judy) have always been a form of entertainment for audiences nationally. And I think there lies the problem.
‘Suicide is always shocking, but why this has become such an outrage is because no one ever expected it to happen. We look at these shows as set up, and fictional, forgetting these are people’s lives, some would say exploited on camera for entertainment purposes.
‘Really, what’s the difference between watching gladiator matches in Ancient Rome, to watching family dramas on TV – up until this point no one died.’
With Mental Health Week on our doorstep and experts urging us to look at the problems that exacerbate the issues of mental health, why has it taken so long to consider the participants in these shows might not be suitable for inclusion just on the basis of a doctor signing off on a good day?
‘We forget these are real people, who are forced into a cage purely for entertainment, for a short amount of time, and then released back into the wild,’ Smith said.
‘We just need to look at the suicides of Love Island’s Mike and Sophie. Once the show is over, where is the ongoing support to help them adjust to their new lives. Whether this be new found fame, or changes in your family because of a DNA or lie detector test.’
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