UK broadcaster ITV has said "now is the right time" for the Jeremy Kyle Show to end as it announced it has been axed permanently following the death of a guest.
The confrontational talk show was suspended indefinitely by the broadcaster on Monday following the death of a participant, 63-year-old Steve Dymond, a week after a programme featuring him was filmed.
The programme has now ended for good following an outcry and calls for it to be cancelled from MPs and members of the public. ITV’s chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall said in a statement: “Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of The Jeremy Kyle Show.
“The Jeremy Kyle Show has had a loyal audience and has been made by a dedicated production team for 14 years, but now is the right time for the show to end.
“Everyone at ITV’s thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Steve Dymond.”
The broadcaster said that it will continue to work with Kyle on other projects, but has not yet specified what those will be.
In an email to staff prior to the show’s permanent cancellation, Dame Carolyn had said that halting filming and broadcasting of the show was “a very difficult decision to make but we felt that it would be inappropriate to continue to broadcast the show when a participant on it has so recently died”.
She added that the decision was not “in any way a reflection on the show, but the best way we think we can protect the show and the production team from this reaction we expect to this death”.
Kyle was pictured and filmed near his home in Windsor on Tuesday, but has yet to comment personally on the show’s cancellation. Mr Dymond’s body was found at an address in Grafton Street, Portsmouth, on May 9th.
Hampshire Police said the death is not being treated as suspicious and a file is being prepared for the coroner.
On Tuesday, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said it was a “deeply concerning case” as he called for broadcasters and production companies to have “appropriate levels of support in place”.
Damian Collins, chairman of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS), said it will discuss “what should be done to review the duty of care support for people appearing in reality TV shows” in a private meeting being held on Wednesday.
ITV faced scrutiny over its support for reality show talent following the deaths of former Love Island contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.
Following Thalassitis’ death, ITV said that its “duty of care is a continuous and ongoing process for each (Love) Islander”.
The broadcaster added that a review had led it to “extend our support processes to offer therapy to all Islanders and not only those that reach out to us. And we will be delivering bespoke training to all future Islanders to include social media and financial management”.
The broadcaster said it would also no longer be “reliant on the islanders asking us for support but for us to proactively check in with them on a regular basis”.
The next series of Love Island will return to air in the next couple of weeks. ITV will announce what will replace The Jeremy
Kyle Show in the TV schedule in due course. – PA