After years of torment, Jeremy Kyle is off the air - let's learn a lesson from his horrible behaviour
Jeremy Kyle is finally off the air. Let's let that be the beginning of a television revolution.
It was announced this week that The Jeremy Kyle Show would be permanently cancelled, following the death of a contestant who had filmed an episode a week before he passed away.
The news that a guest had died shocked people, and The Jeremy Kyle Show cancelled the series before a backlash could have even begun.
They did the right thing by cancelling the show, but it took about 14 years too long. It should have been cancelled back in 2005, days after it first aired.
Watching the show was a guilty pleasure for many people. Classic "off sick from work/school" type of TV. And if you did feel guilty for watching it, that's because you should have.
You should feel bad for laughing at poor, uneducated, largely sick people as they are mocked by a power-hungry egomaniac who gets paid millions to abuse the vulnerable.
On a programme similar to Jeremy Kyle, they hand-picked guests, based on who would be the most "entertaining" to the audience. Author Jon Ronson described the process as "extremely manipulative", and said that bookers "would ask [the guest] what medication they were on… because it implies the right kind of mental illness to be entertaining."
"She would ask [the guest] what medication they were on…because it implies the right kind of mental illness to be entertaining."
Author Jon Ronson reveals the "extremely manipulative" tricks a guest booker used on a programme similar to Jeremy Kyle to pick who went on the show. pic.twitter.com/xAsLK5ovOk
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) May 14, 2019
Jeremy Kyle liked to act the big man on his show. Directing personal insults at the "guests", doing all he can to rile them up, hoping that they react aggressively, comfortable in the knowledge that if they do, they'll look stupid, while he chuckles behind his massive security guards.
He belittled people, called them "junkies", made fun of people with learning difficulties or speech impediments, and was just an overall nasty piece of work in general.
And the lie detector tests. Jesus Christ the lie detector tests. The whole basis of the show is that the lie detector test determines whether the guests have been lying or telling the truth, but there's a reason why they're not used in a court of law.
And even at that, they're not even right every time. In fact, based on a 90% success rate (which is being generous to polygraph tests), out of the 3,320 episodes of the show, 332 of the episodes have featured a result that is incorrect, and also featured a harsh reaction from both Jeremy Kyle and the audience that treated the result as fact.
Jeremy Kyle should feel ashamed of himself for what he has done. He bullied the people who came on his show, and they feel the affects for years.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, one contestant from the show talked about how the subsequent abuse he faced almost led him to suicide.
"I’ve had loads and loads of abuse and in 2018 I decided I’d had enough," he said. "My girlfriend had some toothache medication, I took a load of it, and I can’t remember the rest. A few hours later my girlfriend came upstairs and she called the ambulance."
But with The Jeremy Kyle Show cancelled, we shouldn't see it as justice served just yet. The show had millions of viewers, and television companies will be well aware of this. But whatever opportunist decides to take over the mantle of the series next must be met with resistance.
Some members of the public have also called for the ITV show Love Island to be cancelled in the wake of axing of The Jeremy Kyle Show.
Former contestants on the show Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon died by suicide over the last year.
Following the death of Thalassitis, ITV announced that it would improve the level of support offered to contestants after they appear on the show, committing to offer therapy to every islander rather than only to those who ask for it.
But we as the viewer need to stop being so invested in the lives of the people who go on shows like Jeremy Kyle out of desperation. If we stop watching, they'll stop making these types of TV shows, and we'll all be far better off.