ITV has been urged to end broadcasts of the Jeremy Kyle Show for good after the apparent suicide of a man who failed a lie-detector test on the programme.
The confrontational talk show was pulled off the air indefinitely by the broadcaster following the death of the guest, named as 63-year-old Steve Dymond, a week after the programme was filmed.
Mr Dymond took a lie-detector test to convince fiancee Jane Callaghan he had not been unfaithful but they split after he failed, according to The Sun.
ITV said staff at the broadcaster and the show’s production team were “shocked and saddened” at the death and the episode will be reviewed.
However, Tory MP Charles Walker, a vice-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on suicide and self-harm prevention, told the Daily Mail: “On reflection, ITV would be best advised just to stop it. It’s a very, very unattractive TV show and I’m surprised it’s gone on so long.”
And MP Damian Collins, chairman of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said TV companies “have a duty to care to the people who take part in their programmes”, while Tory MP Simon Hart, who also sits on the committee, described the Jeremy Kyle Show as “car-crash TV which revels in people’s terrible misfortune and sometimes their vulnerabilities”.
Ms Callaghan said Mr Dymond had been “quietly struggling”, but praised the show’s team for their after-care efforts.
She told The Sun: “They were brilliant. They were there when he needed help. They were really persistent in offering him help.”
Ms Callaghan said that just before they went on the show, Mr Dymond had convinced her he had not cheated.
She told The Sun the pair split up after the show, reportedly filmed on May 2, and last saw him four days later before Mr Dymond was found dead last week.
She added: “I can’t see Steve taking his life without explaining it to me first. But he always said he would never love someone else.”
A neighbour of Ms Callaghan’s home in Gosport, Hampshire, who did not wish to be named, said: “He lived here the last two or three months, they seemed happy, they were always friendly.”
The neighbour added that Mr Dymond had recently bought a second hand car and had been pleased with it.
Another neighbour said: “A while ago in the garden, I heard her say ‘you have never kissed me like that’ so they obviously had problems.
“They were pleasant people, they never really rowed. It’s all been a bit of a shock.”
Monday morning’s episode of the Jeremy Kyle Show did not air and ITV has now wiped all episodes of the programme from its on-demand service the ITV Hub, and episodes will not air on ITV2.
A celebrity edition of the show starring former X Factor contestant Christopher Maloney and ex-EastEnders actress Danniella Westbrook was due to air on Tuesday, but will be rescheduled, according to both stars.
The broadcaster said the episode featuring the participant who died will be submitted for a review due to the “seriousness of this event”.
Filming and broadcasting of the programme was suspended while the review is being conducted.
An Ofcom spokesman said: “This is clearly a very distressing case. Although we can only assess content that has been broadcast, we are discussing this programme with ITV as a priority to understand what took place.”
The tabloid talk show sees host Kyle and psychotherapist Graham Stanier help the guests talk through their personal issues in front of a studio audience.
The programme has had its regular daytime morning slot on ITV since 2005.
The broadcaster’s support for its reality show talent has also come under scrutiny following the deaths of two former Love Island contestants.
Sophie Gradon, 32, who appeared on the hit programme in 2016, was found hanged in June by her boyfriend, who later took his own life in similar circumstances.
In March this year another Love Island contestant, Mike Thalassitis, was found hanged in a north London park.