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ITV’s boss advocated sending employees an email about “protecting” The Jeremy Kyle Show.
In an email, Dame Carolyn McCall told ITV staff “the best way we think we can protect the show and the production team” from the reaction to Steve Dymond’s death was to stop filming the controversial program.
— Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (@CommonsCMS) June 25, 2019
Shortly afterward, the long-running daytime program was scrapped. Dame Carolyn, CEO of ITV, told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee her message was an “internal email.”
The ITV chief executive said,
“Everybody at ITV was extremely sorry to have heard that someone who had appeared on the show had died in quite close proximity to appearing on the show. It created shockwaves.”
Dame added, “I was trying to say, we are going to go through this calmly and in a measured way. It was an internal email sent to specific individuals working at the sharp end.
“They were harassed by the media. It has been a very difficult time for people who worked on the show.”
McCall continued: “A number of factors made it untenable for the show to continue. We will learn from this and we will improve everything we do as a result of learning.”
The ITV Chief dismissed the decision to cancel the show was a prosecution on the show.
Speaking of Jeremy Kyle, she said: “We will work with him but not on a talk show, not on a show of this ilk in any way.” Adding, “We will not commission a show in the future in this way, in this format, using lie detector tests.”
Damian Collins, the Committee chairman asked whether the show was “an accident waiting to happen?”
In the meantime, Sir Peter Bazalgette, chairman of ITV, was questioned if he was proud of the series. He answered, saying the program had helped a “number of people,” that it was “something to be proud of, yes.”
Mr. Collins said the data provided to the respondents failed to represent the “accuracy” of the lie-detector experiments and they were not offered the opportunity to repeat it.
He criticized show bosses for failing to carry out the experiments in a controlled setting.
The show apparently did carry some positive intentions as it wasn’t always that way.
Chris Wissun, ITV’s Content Compliance Director, said people who attended the show were completely aware of what they were doing.