As you’re probably aware by now, news broke on Monday that The Jeremy Kyle Show had been taken off air, and yesterday ITV officially confirmed that the programme is being permanently axed.
On Monday an ITV spokesperson said they’d decided to stop both filming and broadcasting after a guest died shortly after recording for the show, adding that the episode in question wouldn’t air, as a review into the circumstances takes place.
Now Jeremy Kyle has spoken out about the cancellation for the first time, after remaining silent for most of the week, saying he’s ‘utterly devastated’.
Yesterday Carolyn McCall, ITV’s CEO, released a statement saying:
Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of The Jeremy Kyle Show. 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. The previously announced review of the episode of the show is under way and will continue. ITV will continue to work with Jeremy Kyle on other projects.
Since Monday it’s been widely reported that 63-year-old Steve Dymond died from an overdose in a suspected suicide, days after he had finished filming for the show.
He was found at his home in Portsmouth after defending accusations that he had cheated on his fiance. He failed a lie detector test after being certain he would pass.
According to his friends, he was completely devastated and they feared he’d take his own life.
Jeremy Kyle has been filming his controversial show since 2005. He told The Sun:
Myself and the production team I have worked with for the last 14 years are all utterly devastated by the recent events. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Steve's family and friends at this incredibly sad time.
Previously, a leaked email from McCall revealed it was initially taken off air to ‘protect’ both the show and the staff who work on it.
NEW: In email to staff about the suspension of The Jeremy Kyle Show after the death of a participant, ITV management says the decision to take it off the air “not in any way a reflection on the show, but the best way we think we can protect the show…" pic.twitter.com/uABG1qn1Rm— Mark Di Stefano 🤙🏻 (@MarkDiStef) May 14, 2019
BuzzFeed journalist Mark Di Stefano tweeted a leaked email from McCall, in which she explains that the decision to take Jeremy Kyle off air was ‘not in any way a reflection on the show, but the best way we think we can protect the show and the production team from the reaction we expect to this death.’
She went on to explain that they will wrap up a review into the incident ‘as soon as they can’, and that staff involved will be given access to counsellors for support.