Jeremy Kyle bosses criticised as ‘irresponsible’ over lie-detector tests
Jeremy Kyle “strongly believed” in lie-detector tests, MPs have heard, as TV bosses were criticised for not knowing enough about them.
MPs are grilling those linked to the programme after the broadcaster axed The Jeremy Kyle Show following the death of participant Steve Dymond.
Mr Dymond, 63, died around a week after reportedly failing a love-cheat lie-detector test on Kyle’s confrontational, daytime programme.
MPs said the show was “irresponsible” for using lie-detector tests on the programme.
Tom McLennan, one of the executive producers on the show, said the programme had always “made it very, very clear to viewers and participants of the show that the lie detector is not 100% accurate”.
But Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee Chairman Damian Collins said show bosses should know more about their accuracy.
He said it was “astonishing” and “disappointing” that Mr McLennan could not provide the exact level of accuracy of lie-detector tests.
He added: “If it wasn’t for the lie-detector test we might not be sitting here today.”
Mr McLennan said he was “not a lie-detector expert”.
The executive producer said that viewers “respected Jeremy, they loved Jeremy and they wanted to hear his thoughts … Jeremy was a fantastic presenter.”
The presenter was “always striving for resolution”, he said.
He added: “Jeremy did have a strong opinion about the lie detector. He’s got very strong views. He strongly believed in the tests.”
But Mr Collins said it has “been suggested” that Kyle – who rejected an invitation to appear before the committee – “doesn’t have much to say on the format of the programme”.
MPs accused the show of “tearing apart” its guests “in a Roman Colosseum like-way”, of making “predatory programming and trash television”, with presenter Kyle not there “to help” but “to entertain”.
ITV initially suspended filming but ended the series after coming under pressure from politicians and the public. The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee then launched an inquiry into reality TV.
It also emerged that guests on The Jeremy Kyle Show were warned about the host’s “presenting style” before they recorded the programme.
MPs have released documents relating to the now defunct TV show ahead of a grilling of ITV bosses.
They show that participants were told that the long-running programme wanted to “prevent” arguments.