Jeremy Kyle Show's ex staffers claim show was a 'ticking timebomb'

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 3 May 2021
Jeremy Kyle

Jeremy Kyle

Former staff members from the 'Jeremy Kyle Show' have spoken out against the axed programme

‘Jeremy Kyle Show’ staff think the show was a “ticking timebomb”.

The controversial daytime series was cancelled in 2019 following the suicide of Steve Dymond, who took his own life days after filming a lie detector test episode to prove he hadn’t been unfaithful, and former employees of the show were shocked by his death but not surprised.

A former producer, using the pseudonym Adam Letts, told Guardian Weekend: “The show was a bit of a ticking timebomb. You can only ‘test’ so many people before someone is going to snap and react badly, because people are human and if you feel like you’ve been shamed on national television, sometimes people can’t see a way out of that.”

And Nick Grant – a more junior staff member also using a pseudonym – thinks if it hadn’t been Steve who took his own life, it was only a matter of time before someone who appeared on the show did.

He said: “It was very sad. I obviously felt sorry for the family. I also felt sorry for the people who booked him, because they would have had no idea that would have happened, and now they’ve got that on their conscience. There have been so many people on the show with similar backgrounds – with depression and mental health issues – that if it hadn’t been him, eventually that would have happened.”

The pair – who were not working on the programme at the time of Steve’s death – spoke of the pressures to recruit people to take part in the show and also persuade other parties involved with their stories to be on too, before all involved had to pass mental health screening checks.

Nick said: “It’s horrible. The pressure everyone is under is insane. You are constantly on the phone trying to get people on the show.

“Sometimes you get no sleep. There were occasions when people just didn’t go home. We were running on empty.”

And the pressure was heightened by the fact the series editor and executive producer would grade each show from A to D according to how dramatic the episode was, with rewards going to those who had booked guests for a top-level programme.

Adam said: “An A show would be a high conflict show – not physical, but something where it goes off, there’s lots of storming around the studio, lots of heightened emotions, lots of shouting, lots of what they called ‘really good entrances’. When they come on and they are immediately kicking off, nine times out of 10 you’re going to get an A show for that.

“A D show would be low energy, low conflict, poor talkers who couldn’t really express what they were trying to say properly or were too nervous, or their story didn’t stand up under scrutiny from Jeremy.

Nick added: “If you didn’t get the stories and you were at the bottom of the leaderboard, come the end of the series or the end of your contract, you’re probably not going to get a new contract.”

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