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An episode of The Jeremy Kyle Show was withdrawn by ITV after a guest who failed the lie detector test, took another polygraph test that challenged the result.
ITV’s chief executive, Carolyn McCall has given evidence to the House of Commons’ digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) select committee inquiry into reality TV.
Speaking about The Jeremy Kyle Show she said: “We are aware of only one instance where a guest who had failed the lie detector test later advised the Jeremy Kyle Show that they had taken another test administered by a different polygraph examiner, which gave a different result. The episode was not transmitted again.”
McCall said the show employed trained providers to carry out polygraph tests on individuals who were attempting to settle family disputes in front of a live audience, with an expected accuracy rate of more than 90 per cent.
The ITV daytime show was cancelled earlier this year following the death of a participant, Steve Dymond, after he failed a lie detector test.
In her evidence to the government inquiry McCall also confirmed producers of The Jeremy Kyle Show often posted on the show’s Facebook page urging its 1.2 million followers to apply to appear on the programme, in return for a free lie detector test.
The committee chairman, Damian Collins, said he was concerned that on one occasion in late 2018 the programme’s makers “used Facebook ads to find individuals who wanted to take lie detector or DNA tests”.
“It is particularly concerning that the production team appeared to be specifically targeting people who were hoping to resolve a difficult personal situation,” he said.
ITV said that this was a one-off incident where they experimented with paying to boost the audience of a single Facebook post. This suggests the advert would be mainly seen by existing fans of The Jeremy Kyle Show who had already ‘Liked’ the page – rather than narrowly target individuals wanting to take a polygraph test but had not heard of the programme.