Jeremy Kyle is to return to television with a new programme after the cancellation of his show following the suicide of a participant, ITV boss has announced.
ITV’s director of television, Kevin Lygo, said the presenter was piloting new programmes for the channel, in addition to working on his investigative strand The Kyle Files: “He is a consummate broadcaster and it would be absolutely wrong to apportion blame of the show against the presenter of it.”
The chat show host was embroiled in controversy following the suicide of one of the participants of his eponymous show. The man, Steve Dymond, had failed a lie detector test on screen and was found dead shortly after recording the episode.
ITV confirmed that The Jeremy Kyle Show, which was cancelled in May following Mr Dymond’s death, will not be returning.
The incident also prompted a parliamentary inquiry into a new duty of care for all individuals appearing on reality programmes.
Lygo said that today such a show wouldn’t have been made: “You think, would we start a show like this today? You’d say no. It was fine in the past but today you wouldn’t have something that was a conflict resolution show that was so combative and – at times – aggressive. What worked for over a decade suddenly looked a bit anachronistic.”
But Lygo told an audience at the Edinburgh television festival that he had never considered cancelling Love Island, despite two former contestants also taking their own lives.
“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,” he said, adding that the two deaths happened some time after the contestants appeared on the programme.