Jeremy Kyle: MPs slate ITV 'failure' over aftercare for show contributors

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Jeremy KyleImage source, ITV/Shutterstock

ITV "failed in its responsibility towards reality show contributors", according to a House of Commons committee investigating reality TV.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee viewed leaked backstage footage of an "extremely upset" Jeremy Kyle Show contributor being filmed.

"There was no safe space for anyone in a highly distressed state", it added.

ITV told the BBC: "We cannot comment on accusations based on footage the select committee has not shared with ITV."

The inquiry is investigating whether enough support is offered during and after filming on reality TV. It was set up after the death of a man who had taken a lie detector test on The Jeremy Kyle Show, and the suicides of two former Love Island contestants.

ITV added that "the physical and mental health of everyone we work with is our highest priority" and it was working across the industry to "share best practice and continue to strengthen and evolve our duty of care processes".

The broadcaster said the participation of the public in TV programmes has been right at the heart of TV since it began."

It said: "We believe that these shows are all the better for the talent, energy and diversity of the members of the public who take part in them, and we are committed to continuing to ensure that their welfare is also at the heart of what we do."

No return of Kyle show

However the committee said its expert advisers who viewed the leaked footage "expressed deep concerns from a psychological perspective at a level of 'humiliation, denigration and provocation that a participant is subjected'".

"Particular concerns are raised over failures to prioritise the welfare of participants, in one case a young man who is heard punching a wall," they added.

Committee chair Damian Collins MP said: "We've seen one contributor who was extremely upset take refuge backstage, only to have a camera thrust in his face to capture him holding his head in his hands."

Collins added the footage also showed how Kyle would use "provocative and sometimes abusive language", which would then be edited out. He said it also made "a mockery" of the aftercare the show claimed to provide.

ITV cancelled The Jeremy Kyle Show in May and has stressed it will not bring it "or any other show resembling its format" back.

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