ENTERTAINMENT
20/08/2019 00:01 BST

Judge Rinder Blasts ‘Hypocritical’ Jeremy Kyle Show Critics Who Suggested Guests Were A ‘Feral Underclass'

The daytime show was cancelled by ITV in May following the death of one of its guests.

Robert Rinder, AKA Judge Rinder, has spoken out about the “hypocrisy” levelled at The Jeremy Kyle Show after the daytime series was cancelled earlier this year.

The TV judge, whose show used to be aired directly after The Jeremy Kyle Show, says some commentators showed a classist attitude towards the ITV series after it was axed following the death of one of its guests.

Steve Dymond, 63, was found dead a week after he took a lie-detector test during the recording of the show in May.

He had appeared on the programme to convince fiancée Jane Callaghan he had not been unfaithful, but they split after it was deemed he had failed the test. 

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Judge Rinder

Speaking to Radio Times, Rinder said what happened was a “tragedy”, but added that criticism of the series showed a level of “hypocrisy”.

“I know the people who made the programme and they really cared about it,” he tells the magazine.

“I have a real problem with hypocrisy. I mind the fact that when you are middle class and you discuss your emotional life or your marriage on Instagram with shiny teeth and a degree of eloquence, you’re considered to be brave. 

“But if you’re from a socioeconomically challenged background you’re deemed not to have agency. So, I really mind it when some commentators describe people who were on the show as a feral underclass.”

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Robert Rinder (right) and Jeremy Kyle.

The Jeremy Kyle Show was a main-stay of the ITV daytime schedule, having aired each weekday since 2005. 

It had been a huge ratings success for the channel, attracting around a million viewers per episode, making it the channel’s highest-rated daytime show. 

However, it has come under a lot of scrutiny during its time on air, with one judge notably branding it “human bear-baiting” in 2007, following an incident in which one guest head-butted another.

ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall confirmed the show had been officially cancelled “given the gravity of recent events”.

She said in a statement: “The Jeremy Kyle Show has had a loyal audience and has been made by a dedicated production team for 14 years, but now is the right time for the show to end.

“Everyone at ITV’s thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Steve Dymond.”

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The Jeremy Kyle Show had been ITV's biggest daytime show, attracting over 1 million viewers each week day.

Following the show’s axe, broadcasting watchdog Ofcom revealed it was looking at the use of lie detector tests on TV shows.

Speaking at a parliamentary enquiry into reality TV, Ofcom chief executive Sharon White told MPs: “We will be looking at lie detectors and other tools used by the production companies, as to whether… it’s fair treatment for vulnerable individuals.”

ITV has said it will continue to work with Jeremy Kyle on other projects, but it has not yet specified what those will be.

The new issue of Radio Times is out now. www.radiotimes.com 

Radio Times