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‘Hunted’ Jeremy Kyle diagnosed with anxiety disorder after show axed

The programme, which had been a regular fixture in the TV schedule since 2005, was pulled in 2019.

Jeremy Kyle (file photo)
Jeremy Kyle (file photo)
Image: PA Images

JEREMY KYLE HAS said he felt “hunted” and “scapegoated” after the cancellation of his TV show following the death of a guest.

The confrontational talk show was suspended indefinitely by ITV in May 2019 following the death of a participant, 63-year-old Steve Dymond, a week after a programme featuring him was filmed.

The programme, which had been a regular fixture in the TV schedule since 2005, was axed for good following calls for it to be cancelled from MPs and members of the public.

Kyle said he was unable to leave the house after his show was cancelled, and because of how low he was feeling he went to see a doctor who diagnosed him with an anxiety disorder.

He told The Sun newspaper: “I used to think ‘get a grip’ when some celebrities talked about those sort of problems. But suddenly I realised first-hand you can’t always do that. I never thought they would affect me like they did.

“That was a shock — but I’ve always said, ‘If you have a problem, admit it, and then seek the proper help’. So that’s what I did.”

He added: “Critics will say I got a taste of my own medicine but I’d been through a fair amount up until that point — and I guess it all caught up with me at once.”

Kyle said he does not want to sound “woe is me”, acknowledging that what happened was a “terrible tragedy” and “devastating” for Dymond’s friends and family as well as the many people who worked on the show.

“But it did hit me hard. And it’s been awful to feel so scapegoated, and without being able to have my say about the accusations that often seemed to be levelled only at me.

“I’ve felt hunted and made out to be responsible for everything that ever took place around that show. But I was just the face of it.

“A hundred people lost their jobs that day, and I felt truly awful for them too and worried for their futures. But I felt completely alone,” he told The Sun.

Morphine overdose

A preliminary inquest hearing was told that Dymond died of a morphine overdose and a heart problem at his home in Portsmouth, Hampshire. He had “failed” a lie detector test for the programme to show whether he had cheated on his ex-fiancee Jane Callaghan.

Following the cancellation of the daytime show, MPs launched an inquiry into reality TV.

Earlier this year, Dame Carolyn McCall, chief executive of ITV, told the BBC’s The Media Show the broadcaster was “looking at” cancelling Kyle’s programme prior to it being pulled from the schedules.

She said there are no plans for Kyle to return to the broadcaster.

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However, talkRadio has announced that Kyle will host a weekday show starting on 13 September from 4-7pm, with a promotional video on social media stating: “After two long years of chaos and division, one man is needed to make sense of it all.”

Need help? Support is available:

  • Aware – 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Samaritans – 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie
  • Pieta House – 1800 247 247 or email mary@pieta.ie (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland – 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 18)
  • Childline – 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

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