Jeremy Kyle Was No Jerry Springer
When someone loses their life there are no silver linings but if any good is to come from the sad passing of Steve Dymond it’s that it has brought to an end one of the vilest and most parasitic of TV shows -The Jeremy Kyle Show
Mr Dymond tragically took his own life earlier this week after taking part in The Jeremy Kyle show in which he failed a lie detector test concerning his faithfulness to his partner. News of Mr Dymonds death saw the programme initially suspended and now axed completely from the ITV schedule, a move that was long, long overdue.
Yes, we have all watched it at some point or another, or at least caught a few minutes usually on a day off or skiving from work and there was certainly an element of rubber necking at the miserable lives of those being exploited on the stage, but make no mistake this was never about entertainment.
The Jeremy Kyle Show certainly didn’t give birth to the confessional style talk show, the format has a long and storied history and was ground zero for the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Jerry Springer, but they bore a distinct difference to that of the shit show that was Jeremy Kyle.
Following the announcement that ITV have decided to axe the show permanently as a result of Mr Dymonds death a lot of similarities have been drawn between The Jeremy Kyle Show and The Jerry Springer Show, but the two should not be confused.
The Springer Show, many believe was the American cousin of The Kyle show, but not so. Although clearly designed to shock, Springer’s effort was always about making people laugh more at the absurdity of a situation, either contrived or not, rather than the person or persons involved, Christ someone even married a horse on the show once! It was the epitome of ridiculousness.
Springer and his show was quite clearly never meant to be taken seriously. You could tell by the jovial host that he knew the entire programme was a load of nonsense. The same can’t be said of Jeremy Kyle.
On The Jeremy Kyle Show, it was always about the person, always personal, with the smug presenter passing judgement on some of the most vulnerable in society, he spoke to guests as if they were little more than dog shit on the bottom of his shoe, there was no entertainment here, just bile and vitriol.
Kyle prowled the stage provoking and bating his guests into reaction, the more outrageous the better, a show wasn’t complete without an on stage altercation requiring the services of burly security guards to separate feuding contributors. Cameras followed clearly distraught guests back stage to catch them at their lowest ebb, one last final embarrassment before Kyle was through. The viewing experience left no one the better off.
In recent days many former guest have spoken out about their treatment at the hands of show makers, how they felt exploited and used and how for some their lives have been made all the worse for appearing.
Hopefully the cancelling of the show will act as a warning to programme makers that shock value or potential ratings boost considerations should always come secondary to that of the treatment and welfare of guests.
The Jeremy Kyle Show lasted nearly 15 years which in itself is an indictment of the TV bosses at ITV and no doubt did untold damage to many who took part in the programme during its near 15 year reign of awfulness.
Truthfully no one with even half a modicum of decency or empathy for their fellow human will shed a tear over its departure from our screens and we don’t need a lie detector test to prove that!