St Albans mental health champion on Jeremy Kyle cancellation following guest tragedy

PUBLISHED: 15:28 17 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:45 17 May 2019

Jeremy Kyle in an episode from March.

Jeremy Kyle in an episode from March.

Archant

St Albans mental health champion has spoken out after a man died shortly after filming an episode of The Jeremy Kyle Show.

ITV has cancelled the controversial daytime show after a man called Steve Dymond died just one week after appearing as a guest.

He had failed a lie detector test as part of the episode, which is currently being reviewed and will not be aired.

ITV CEO Carolyn McCall said: "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."

Since the news broke, the government's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has launched a formal inquiry into British reality TV.

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It will also consider the deaths of two former contestants on ITV's Love Island - one of which was a 26-year-old St Albans City Football Club player, Mike Thalassitis.

In light of the news, the St Albans district council (SADC) mental health champion, Cllr Anthony Rowlands, described The Jeremy Kyle Show as "ritual, public humiliation".

He said: "As adults, we have a responsibility to offer younger generations an example worth emulating. Legitimising intrusive prurience in the name of entertainment sets such a poor example and, in particular, risks exploiting and degrading the most vulnerable.

"All sections of the media share a responsibility to treat people with respect, rather than normalising the debasing of human relationships."

This has come during Mental Health Awareness Week, which takes place from May 13 to 19. The Herts Ad has also been encouraging people to open up about their mental health in a campaign called It's OK To Say, run alongside anxiety specialist Stacey Turner.

Chief executive officer of Mind in Mid Herts, Sharn Tomlinson, said: "It is important that everyone is treated with dignity and that safety should be the highest priority, and if ITV have made the decision to review their processes in delivering this program then we really appreciate that."

Contact Mind in Mid Herts on 01727 865070 or at www.mindinmidherts.org.uk

Mental Health Awareness Week is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation - www.mentalhealth.org.uk

Find out more about It's OK To Say at www.itsoktosay.org.uk, which will be live soon.

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