ITV has issued a full statement detailing the care process on The Jeremy Kyle Show, following the death of a guest.
The broadcaster insisted their procedures on the daytime talk show were “significant and detailed”, but refused to comment on whether the show would return to screens.
Production and broadcast were suspended on Monday, after the death of 63-year-old Steve Dymond, who filmed an appearance on the show a week ago.
Amid rising pressures for ITV to pull the programme altogether, a spokesperson has insisted all guests were put through a “comprehensive assessment” prior to their appearance, while the production team regularly check-in with them to find “appropriate solutions” to any issues they discussed.
A spokesperson said: “ITV has many years experience of broadcasting and creating programmes featuring members of the public and each of our productions has duty of care measures in place for contributors. These will be dependent on the type of show and will be proportionate for the level of activity of each contributor and upon the individual. All of our processes are regularly reviewed to ensure that they are fit for purpose in an ever changing landscape.
“In the case of The Jeremy Kyle Show, the programme has significant and detailed duty of care processes in place for contributors pre, during and post show which have been built up over 14 years, and there have been numerous positive outcomes from this, including people who have resolved complex and long-standing personal problems.
“Prior to the show a comprehensive assessment is carried out by the guest welfare team on all potential contributors. The guest welfare team consists of four members of staff, one consultant psychotherapist and three mental health nurses.”
They continued: “The guests are interviewed by guest welfare face to face at studios and prior to filming. Throughout filming the participants are supported by the guest welfare team in the studios during the recording phase of their show. After filming has ended all guests are seen by a member of the guest welfare team to ensure they are feeling calm and emotionally settled before any participant leaves to travel home.
“An evaluation of their needs is also carried out at this time and should they require any ongoing service regarding the problem they discussed on the show then appropriate solutions are found for them. This could include residential rehabilitation, counselling, anger management, family mediation, child access mediation or couple counselling for example.
“The day after recording of the show the participant will be contacted by production to carry out a welfare check and provide details of the services that have been sourced for them. The production team keep in touch with the participants in the days between recording and transmission and participants are given a production mobile contact number should they need to contact the show at any point following transmission.
“To continue best practice, we regularly review our processes.”
Once again, ITV extended their condolences to the family of Steve Dymond, who was reported to have died after taking a lie-detector test during the recording of the show to convince fiancee Jane Callaghan he had not been unfaithful.
“As we have said, everyone at ITV and The Jeremy Kyle Show is shocked and saddened at the news of the death of a participant in the show a week after the recording of the episode they featured in and our thoughts are with their family and friends,” they said.
“We will not screen the episode in which they featured.”
Addressing the show’s future, they concluded: “Given the seriousness of this event, ITV has also decided to suspend both filming and broadcasting of The Jeremy Kyle Show with immediate effect in order to give it time to conduct a review of this episode of the show, and we cannot comment further until this review is completed.”
Meanwhile, Theresa May has called the case “deeply concerning”.
A spokesperson for the PM said: “Broadcasters and production companies have a responsibility for the mental health and wellbeing of participants and viewers of their programmes. We are clear that they must have appropriate levels of support in place.”
Useful websites and helplines:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
- The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: email@example.com
- Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on www.rethink.org.