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9 bombshells from Jeremy Kyle Show: Death on Daytime – ‘cult’ claims to tragic texts

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The Jeremy Kyle Show was once considered a daytime TV staple at the height of its popularity, drawing in up to 1 million viewers during weekday mornings.

Yet the show came to a very abrupt halt on May 10 2019 when ITV axed the show following guest Steve Dymond’s tragic suicide just days after filming.

Afterwards, a public inquiry into the show by MPs sought ‘further clarification’ of the programme’s treatment of contestants, which included guests coming forward to speak about their experiences on the show.

Unedited footage was also shown to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, prompting a letter to be sent to ITV Studios’ boss Julian Bellamy which questioned Kyle’s use of “demeaning and insulting language”, calling it “highly unethical”.

And in a new two-part Channel 4 documentary airing tonight and tomorrow night, ex-staff from the show – who remain anonymous and are played by actors – open up about what they say it was really like behind the scenes.

Joining them on the programme are former guests, who open up about being on The Jeremy Kyle Show and their encounter with its host.

Here are the nine biggest bombshell revelations from the documentary…

Claims of a ‘cult’ atmosphere

Former anonymous employees of The Jeremy Kyle Show have claimed that working on the ITV programme was like being part of a “cult”.

From claims of bear-baiting to lies, some have even claimed that they felt “brainwashed” while working on the show.

One former staff member claims: “We were kind of a cult. I know that sounds bad, but I would say we was a cult because nobody was allowed to know what was going on in that office unless you worked in there.”

While another claims: “I know 100% that I hurt people directly.”







Anonymous Jeremy Kyle show staff have claimed that working on the show was like ‘being part of a cult’
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“It felt like we had blood on our hands. It felt like we killed someone,” a third claims.

One staff member says that she was a big fan of Jeremy’s before joining the show.

“I was a massive Jeremy Kyle fan, I never missed an episode and he just had this overwhelming charisma,” she says. “It was tough love, it wasn’t fake love that I thought Jeremy was giving. He had that cult leader personality that I was just drawn to. A lot of the time people would say, ‘Why on earth would you go on the show?’ and I was just like, ‘Why wouldn’t you go on that show?'”

Staff also claim that they frequently lied to guests in order to get them on the show – and then again when they arrived at the studio to rile them up.

“The lie came when you were in the studio,” one claims. “You would go with them into the corridor and that’s when the lie would come. You would tell the addicts and their families that there’s three other families going on the stage – ‘It’s a fight for that one bed. Jeremy’s going to pick who he wants so you need to go out there and you need to say what you need to say.’

“It was to get more emotion on the stage. They thought that other families were in the corridor.”

Quizzed on whether bosses knew that the lies were going on, she claims: “Yeah.”

Steve Dymond’s heartbreaking final texts and voice note

Steve died of a suspected overdose aged 63 in 2019 after he was filmed trying to show fiancee Jane Callaghan, 51, he hadn’t cheated on her.

But the texts, which are not 100% accurate, said he was lying and their relationship ended, then 10 days later he took his own life.

His final texts read: “I hope the Jeremy Kyle show is so happy now.

“They are responsible for what happens now. I hope this makes good ratings for them. I bet they keep this quiet.







Guest Steve Dymond tragically took his life just days after filming
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“Never never never did I cheat on you. Never never. My final words.”

Heartbreakingly, he also left Jane a final voice note, in which he can be heard saying: “I was being so truthful, I really was.

“I really was. I was telling you the truth sweetheart, I was not lying a bit. Not one bit. I was not lying to you, I wouldn’t do that to you, I wouldn’t.

“I wouldn’t cope with it. I would not lie to you again, I swear to God I would not lie to you again. I wouldn’t.”

Jeremy Kyle ‘god complex’ claims

Former employees of The Jeremy Kyle Show have claimed that the ITV programme gave its host a “god complex” and that he was “incredibly nasty and demeaning”.

Following the axing of the ITV show in 2019, a public inquiry held by MPs singled out the behaviour of chat show host Kyle over his “humiliating and demeaning” behaviour towards guests.

Unedited footage appears in the documentary – which was also shown at the inquiry – reveals Kyle lashing out at crew and telling them to “f***ing shut up” and mocking guests.

Offering their own experiences with the host, one former crew member claims: “I think that show gave him and I think it gave many of us a god complex – that you can talk to people however you want.”







Former employees have claimed the ITV show gave Jeremy Kyle a ‘god complex’
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While another claims: “Jeremy was incredibly nasty, really just demeaning.”

A third claims that staff got the feeling he “didn’t care” about guests.

“He would make comments to us about the guests, like insinuating that they were thick or that they were scruffs,” she says.

An unedited clip shows Jeremy fuming: “No, I don’t understand. They’re terrible f***ing guests. You’ve done it again – they’re as thick as s***.”

The anonymous former staff member continues: “And this was quite disturbing because you just get the sense he didn’t care about these people and if you don’t care then you shouldn’t be doing that job.”

Producers were ‘refused meals’ if they didn’t book people on show

A former producer on The Jeremy Kyle Show claims that she and others working on the ITV show were refused meals if they didn’t book guests on the programme.

They claim: “If you hadn’t booked a show, you’d be work until like four or five in the morning, every week, like every night.”

Quizzed on what would happen if they weren’t booking people, they reply: “Well, then you would get fired.”

While another claims: “We were literally like rats in a lab. You never left your desk sometimes, 14 to 15 hours at that desk.”

A third also claims: “Let’s say you were working and it’s like 10 o clock at night and you’ve got nothing on your board, it doesn’t matter if you’ve not had a break, because they would have to order your tea from one of the restaurants nearby. If you said can we have tea we’re starving, the producer would say, no.”

The documentary’s director asks: “So you weren’t actually allowed to eat until you booked guests?”

They reply: “Yeah.”

Staff ‘lied’ to guests to get them on the show

Staff working backstage on the show have claimed that they were pushed to “manipulate” guests into taking part in the show, which became increasingly difficult the longer the programme ran on TV.

In some instances, producers have been accused of actively lying in order to get guests on the show – reportedly telling David Staniforth, from Clowne, that his wife wanted to reconcile with him on the show when he claims that had not been the case.

Former security guard Staniforth went on to attack his wife’s lover on stage by head-butting him and later pleaded guilty to common assault in court in 2007.







Dominique Bishop appeared on The Jeremy Kyle Show with drug addict daughter Kristie
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While sentencing Staniforth, district judge Alan Berg blasted the show for ‘bear-baiting’ guests and told Manchester Magistrates’ Court: “The circumstances of this case are exceptional and the provocation involved seems to be paramount.

“I have had the misfortune of viewing the Jeremy Kyle Show and it seems to me that its whole purpose is to effect a morbid and depressing display of dysfunctional people who are in some kind of turmoil.”

He added: “The people responsible for this, namely the producers, should in my opinion be in the dock with you Mr Staniforth.”

At the time, an ITV spokesperson defended themselves over the remarks made by the judge, insisting that they took the well-being of studio guests “extremely seriously” and they took steps to make it clear to guests that “no violence is ever tolerated”.

They added: “We would like to make it clear that we do not share the District Judge’s opinion of the viewing public and the people who choose to take part in our programme in an effort to resolve their problems.”

Guests called show ‘virtually every week threatening to kill themselves’

Opening up about the lengths that they would go to book guests on the show, one anonymous staff member claims: “People who were begging and desperate to be on the show… they were often the ones with mental health issues.

“We would have to go through the mental health check list with every guest to see if they are okay to go on the show. There was such pressure to book these that you would quite often lie or sometimes miss out important information or details.”

While another claims that they received regular calls from guests threatening to kill themselves.

“Yeah, virtually every week,” they claim. “There will probably be say two calls a week from people saying that and it was your job as someone who had no mental health expertise to determine if they were telling the truth. Who the f*** was I at 21 to be determining if someone wants to kill themselves and it was kind of like if you could get them to almost be like ‘Oh I don’t want to’ that would be like sweet, yeah finally it can go out to air and we have not wasted any money.”

Steve Dymond’s fiancee had tattoo of Jeremy Kyle’s signature – but wants it removed

Steve Dymond’s fiancée has revealed that she had Jeremy Kyle’s signature tattooed on her arm – but now she wants it removed.

In the documentary, Jane admits she felt sorry for host Kyle over the backlash he was hit with and doesn’t blame him or the show for what happened.

A former Jeremy Kyle staff member – who remains anonymous in a new Channel 4 documentary – opens up about about Jane’s connection to producers and says that she thinks of them as her friends.







Steve Dymond’s fiancee Jane Callaghan wants her tattoo of Jeremy Kyle’s signature removed
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“Jane has this bizarre connection with the producers that went down to Portsmouth,” the ex-staff member claims. “I think she has this weird connection with that she owes them something.

“She doesn’t see it like she thinks they’re like her friends. She probably needs people. I don’t think Jane has many genuine people that care about her and I find that really sad.”

But after revealing a tattoo she got of Kyle’s signature on her arm, which she says she got after Steve’s death, she says of the host: “I do feel sorry for him after the backlash he got.

“I don’t hate Jeremy Kyle, I don’t blame him for it… I can’t put the blame on someone when I’m partly to blame as well.”

She has since said that she is raising money to get the tattoo removed.

Jeremy Kyle guest’s tragic death 14 years before Steve Dymond

Erica Pawson filmed an episode of The Jeremy Kyle Show in 2005 with her husband Paul – though the episode never aired – and her friends claimed she believed that going on the show would make her “famous”.

Sadly, however, Erica took her life after she took part in the show and left behind her daughter, who had been around 12 at the time, and husband Paul.

Erica’s husband Paul says: “I remember when I heard about Steve Dymond, I was in here watching Good Morning Britain.

“It’d come on there that he’d died and they’d stopped the programme. I was like what the hell, they didn’t stop the programme for my wife when she killed herself after being on the Jeremy Kyle Show. First year it started in October 2005. When my wife died they did nothing.”







Erica Pawson’s husband Paul speaks of his grief over her death
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Her friends Fran and Tony Whitehead, 72 and 71, recall Erica happily telling them that she was going to be famous by appearing on the show, adding: “She was like a lamb to the slaughter”.

Paul, 57, says: “Erica thought it would be a good day out to air some of her views on TV.”

He recalls them both being separated as soon as she was driven to the studios until they got on the stage.

“They split you up straight away and they pump you up for ages – winding you up for hours,” he says. “They were telling me to kick off… Jeremy Kyle asked Erica whether she wanted to split up with him and she said yes.

“When I got back I went away for a few days and we were going to talk about it on Friday but she was dead by the Thursday.”

Becoming emotional, Paul says he “beats [himself] up” over what happened, explaining: “I blame myself every day for it. I killed her.”

Jeremy Kyle producer who killed herself produced Steve Dymond episode

Producer Natasha Reddican, who tragically took her own life nine months after the show was axed, produced Steve Dymond’s episode.

According to colleagues – who speak anonymously in a new Channel 4 documentary – Natasha struggled with feelings of guilt.

Opening up about what it had been like for staff who had been made redundant following the axing on the show, an anonymous whistleblower says: “When The Jeremy Kyle Show was axed, I lost everything… I couldn’t stop crying. Properly falling to pieces.

“I had a chat to a mate that someone’s going to kill themselves… I walked away thinking it would be Tash.”

Other staff in the documentary describe Natasha as “brilliant, amazing” but “vulnerable”.






Natasha Reddican tragically took her own life nine months after the show was axed

“Tash was in charge of the team that made the episode,” a staff member explains.

While another adds: “She felt guilty not only for the fact she put the guy on the show. And as a direct consequence of that she and all the team lost their jobs. Of course she wasn’t the same after that.

“Natasha was just left with a guilty conscience when she’d already been through so much.”

One anonymous whistleblower says: “It scarred me for life with two and a half years on and I still can’t get over it. I still get help now. I know that a lot of people do.”






Natasha produced Steve Dymond’s episode

The 31-year-old’s loved ones said at her inquest in December 2020 that she had suffered with depression before her death.

Natasha had spent months applying for other jobs without success, Manchester Evening News reports.

Despite having a job interview arranged on February 27 2020, she was tragically found dead in her home in Pendleton, Salford later that day.

Coroner Timothy Brennand had called it “a tragic and harrowing case”.

ITV said in a statement in response to the Channel 4 documentary: “The Jeremy Kyle Show was broadcast for 14 years. In that time, more than 20,000 people took part in the show seeking help to resolve relationship issues, or to address drug or alcohol related problems. The central purpose of the show was conflict resolution, and the show achieved many positive outcomes where people were able to resolve personal problems.

“The Jeremy Kyle Show had extensive and detailed duty of care processes in place for contributors built up over 14 years. It had a dedicated guest welfare team of mental healthcare professionals with decades of experience in NHS mental healthcare, who were focused on the welfare of guests throughout the production process. Guests were supported by the programme and welfare teams prior to filming, throughout filming and after filming. Should they require ongoing help then appropriate solutions were found for them, which could include residential rehabilitation, counselling, anger management, family mediation, child access mediation or couples counselling.

“Due to the gravity of events in May 2019, namely the death of a guest a few days after taking part in the show, ITV decided to end production of the show. It would not be appropriate for ITV to comment further on that in advance of the inquest to be held later this month.

“ITV does not accept the central allegation of this programme of a “bad culture” within the production team. We note that the programme includes anonymous former production members claiming wrongdoing by themselves and others, without supporting evidence. ITV would never condone any of its production staff misleading or lying to guests. All guests on the Jeremy Kyle Show were aware of the nature of the show and the presenter’s style before taking part in recording. Most of those who applied to appear watched the show themselves. All guests gave their informed consent, in writing, to take part.

“Since 2018 ITV has taken significant steps in relation to its duty of care of participants. ITV issued detailed new guidance to all its producers on protecting participants in October 2019, which represents industry-leading good practice and now reflects the changes to the Broadcasting Code made by industry regulator Ofcom in 2021. ITV also ensures greater management oversight of participant welfare through a Duty of Care Board, and has created a Mental Health Advisory group involving mental health charities to advise ITV on its policies for staff and programme guests.”

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Jeremy Kyle was approached for a response to the series. He did not provide a statement for broadcast.

However, Kyle addressed the axing of his show in an interview with The Sun in 2021, saying that it had left him “devastated” and believes he was made a “scapegoat” in the fallout.

He said: “I don’t want to sound ‘woe is me’, and as I’ve said the whole thing was a terrible tragedy — devastating for Steve Dymond’s friends and family, of course, and for 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.”

*The Jeremy Kyle Show airs Sunday and Monday at 9pm on Channel 4

If you’re struggling and need help and support, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email jo@samaritans.org if you’d prefer to write down how you feel.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/9-bombshells-jeremy-kyle-show-26446531 9 bombshells from Jeremy Kyle Show: Death on Daytime - 'cult' claims to tragic texts

Fry Electronics Team

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