Jeremy Kyle Show: Death on Daytime Review
It’s fascinating as the years go by how audiences perceptions of what they watch on TV change and how things that were seen as OK literally in the last decade are no longer seen as such.
Jeremy Kyle was a TV show that mirrors the types of Maury and Jerry Springer in the States. It ran from 2005 to 2019 and was cancelled when a guest on the show, that was there to prove that he was not a cheater, committed suicide and blamed the show for his death.
It was a crazy time when this happened because so many people were on different sides of the fence to who was at fault, especially with my generation. I grew up watching Jeremy Kyle and to me it was always just this jokey show that didn’t hold much weight and was fun and entertaining, however if you really look under the surface you realise that these people aren’t actors but are going through real-world issues that will have consequences on their lives, and yet the British public were just laughing at them.
Steve Dymond was the name of the man who ultimately committed suicide off the back of his appearance on Jeremy Kyle and, while the episode never aired, that didn’t mean other episodes that had similar consequences didn’t as well. We see in the documentary that another suicide may have happened in the early days of Jeremy Kyle with a woman who killed herself after going on the show, and subsequently after the show was cancelled and a lot of the employees lost their jobs, even one of them committed suicide too because of the stress of the situation.
I think that’s a fascinating thing. In the documentary we get to speak to people who worked on Jeremy Kyle and see what they thought about it all and it seems they really prayed on people who were young and impressionable that wouldn’t think that what was going on was wrong and would happily work themselves to the bone to make sure that the show kept getting crazier and crazier. Of course you have to wonder, do you see these employees as victims themselves or were they also part of this vicious cycle of finding people to go on the show?
It makes you wonder as well what does this mean for TV as it continues? Of course with shows like Love Island we have seen people do disastrous things off the back of being on that and not having the after-care that they need when they’re thrust into this world of fame. As well as other shows that are still quite berating or harsh because the British public believe they have the right to air their opinions on someone who goes on national TV. Even sweet shows like This Morning, when they get crazier or different guests on you see immediately the lack of empathy people show on Twitter and other social media sites, thinking that they have a right to comment on this person’s opinion or way of life just because they put themselves on TV.
When it comes down to it it’s all about making sure that people are treated with respect and have the decency to not be seen as dancing monkeys. A big issue with Jeremy Kyle was it seemed they would rile up the contestants up before they went on the show to make them even angrier and be even more entertaining TV, and it’s so disgusting to think that we all played into that part of watching it and keeping it going and giving it so many awards, when the people that are on the show and the thing that was giving the show so much power were just being sent home afterwards and nothing was being done to help them in this new public eye.
Hopefully we can learn from this and know not to exploit people, which we should’ve known anyway, but as I said it was a different time back then and really we can’t change what happened then but we can change the future to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I do wonder what that means for reality TV shows going forward, will it change to be better for the people that go on the shows, or is this just a vicious cycle that will never end until reality TV does?
What do you think of the Jeremy Kyle show?
Until next time.