Committee investigating reality TV asks for more information on 'Jeremy Kyle Show' duty of care

Tom Beasley
Contributor
Charlotte Hawkins, Jeremy Kyle and Piers Morgan watch the racing at Royal Ascot on June 20, 2018. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The House of Commons Select Committee looking into reality TV has asked ITV to provide more information on The Jeremy Kyle Show to aid their investigation.

Damian Collins MP, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, wrote to the broadcaster saying that he "wants answers" in relation to the show's duty of care.

Read more: Kyle already preparing TV comeback

In the letter, which was also posted to Twitter, Collins outlined a series of specific concerns in relation to the welfare of guests on the programme, drawing from the testimony of two previous guests when they gave evidence to the committee.

Collins also shared the letter to his own followers, adding that he has specific worries about the evidence the committee has heard.

He wrote: “We were concerned to hear evidence about the lack of duty of care shown to participants and have requested further information.”

The Jeremy Kyle Show was permanently axed from the ITV daytime schedule in May following the suspected suicide of 63-year-old Steve Dymond, just 10 days after he failed a lie detector test on a recording of the show.

The programme had been a staple part of the ITV roster for 14 years, despite controversy surrounding its confrontational format and Kyle's aggressive presenting style.

Read more: Lie detectors may be banned from TV after Kyle scandal

Kyle himself has not appeared as a witness in the current DCMS inquiry, which is also looking into the aftercare arrangements on other reality-based programmes, including ITV2's Love Island.

Collins has stated he believes Kyle should face prosecution for declining to give evidence to the inquiry.

Graham Stanier, the show’s director of aftercare, did give evidence and stated he was not “professionally comfortable” with Kyle’s “black and white” style.

Former Jeremy Kyle Show participants Robert Gregory and Dwayne Davison giving evidence to the DCMS Select Committee. (Photo by House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images)

The new DCMS request comes in the wake of evidence given to the inquiry by Robert Gregory and Dwayne Davison, who both previously appeared as guests on The Jeremy Kyle Show.

Davison claimed he was not provided with aftercare by the show’s producers and that words he said backstage were twisted.

Read more: Ex-producer claims some lie detector results were faked

Collins’ letter asks ITV to address these claims and raises other significant concerns regarding the level of truthfulness ascribed to the lie detector tests and the treatment of guests before, during and after the recordings.

ITV has been asked to respond to the DCMS request by 16 September.