What happened to Steve Dymond – harrowing suicide that ended The Jeremy Kyle Show


Steve Dymond was tragically found dead at his home after failing a lie detector test on The Jeremy Kyle Show.

The 63-year-old guest had taken a lie detector test in a bid to prove he hadn’t been cheating to his on-off fiancée Jane Callaghan – with the recording of the show taking place on 2 May 2019.

Steve failed that test and in typical The Jeremy Kyle Show fashion the audience and host subsequently ‘turned’ on the dad.

After the show recording ended, distraught Steve told one of the show’s researchers “I wish I was dead” before being sent home in a taxi two hours later.

Straight after the show Steve’s heartbroken partner Jane kicked him out of the house they shared and received message from him saying his life was “not worth living” without her.

Just days later, Steve was tragically founded dead in his rented room in Portsmouth, Hampshire on May 9.

Steve Dymond tragically died after appearing on The Jeremy Kyle Show



Steve’s friends and family were devastated


Steve Dymond Facebook)

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On May 13, The Jeremy Kyle Show was abruptly pulled off air after ITV bosses learned of Mr Dymond’s death.

Filming and broadcasting of the daytime show was suspended with immediate effect while a serious review was conducted.

The episode in question never aired – and just two days later The Jeremy Kyle Show was cancelled forever.

Hampshire Coroner Jason Pegg told a pre-inquest hearing in June 2020 that Steve had died of a morphine overdose and left ventricular hypertrophy.

The coroner said Steve “did report to others that he was caused distress by his treatment by the show” and it “played out” into the following week leading up to his death.”

He added: “To not deal with it would be ludicrous.”

Here is a look at what happened to Steve and how the cancelling of The Jeremy Kyle Show unfolded.

Show immediately pulled off air

The Jeremy Kyle Show was immediately taken off air



There was a drastic last-minute change to the daytime schedule on 13 May 2019 when that day’s scheduled episode of The Jeremy Kyle Show was taken off air.

Initially there was no explanation as to the reason but ITV later explained that a guest, who at this stage was not identified as Steve, had died a week after recording an episode

They announced they were “shocked and saddened” at the news and the show in question would never be screened – and it has not to this day.

While conducting a review into the episode, ITV decided to suspend broadcasting and filming of The Jeremy Kyle Show with immediate effect.

This meant that previously recorded episodes, including a celebrity edition, never aired, all episodes were taken off the ITV Hub within hours and the show’s website was taken down.

In a statement explaining why the show had been taken off air, an ITV spokeswoman said: “Everyone at ITV and The Jeremy Kyle Show is shocked and saddened at the news of the death of a participant in the show a week after the recording of the episode they featured in and our thoughts are with their family and friends.

“ITV will not screen the episode in which they featured.

“Given the seriousness of this event, ITV has also decided to suspend both filming and broadcasting of The Jeremy Kyle Show with immediate effect in order to give it time to conduct a review of this episode of the show.”

Steve’s heartbreaking final days

Heartbroken Jane Callaghan was Steve’s fiancee


Darren Cool)

After the show was taken off air, Steve’s devastated friends and family built a picture of his heartbreaking final days.

Following the recording of the show, in which it was claimed he had failed a lie detector test, Steve’s heartbroken partner Jane kicked him out of their shared house.

“He kept texting me, leaving voicemails,” Jane told The Sun. “In one text he said, ‘I can’t live without you. I just wanted to come and see you. I just wanted to say sorry before I go. My life is not worth living without you.’

“But he had said it so many times before. I was like ‘I don’t want to know Steve, go away.'”

Steve reconnected with his estranged son, who he had not spoken to in seven years, in a “distraught” phone call.

A concerned relative put them in touch after growing increasingly concerned for Steve’s emotional state.

Carl Woolley revealed that they had an emotional phone call straight after filming, in which Steve claimed that Jeremy Kyle had “ripped into him” as it was alleged he cheated on his fiancee.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Carl said: “Steve told me ‘Kyle really laid into me’. Presumably that was at the point when they announced the lie detector result.

“He had gone on the show solely to clear his name but he said it had gone wrong because of the lie detector test.

“He was adamant that he did not lie. He was so upset that he wasn’t making much sense, but he just kept repeating: ‘I haven’t cheated, Carl, I swear I haven’t cheated.”

Pall-bearers carry the coffin of Jeremy Kyle guest Steve Dymond during his funeral in June 2019



Carl told Steve he had become a grandfather, although he never got to reunite with his son or meet his grandchild.

Friend Michael Bradley claimed Steve had told his landlady he was feeling suicidal after the show.

He said: “He told her, ‘I’ve had enough, I’m going to kill myself.’ He failed the lie detector test but was adamant he hadn’t done anything wrong, saying, ‘I’ll come up with flying colours, I’ve never cheated on her.’

“He got made out to be wrong but he wasn’t. Those lie detector tests aren’t 100%.

“Steve said he’d recently split with his fiancee but was getting ­reconciled. He contacted Jeremy Kyle himself to prove he was innocent. That’s how confident he was that he hadn’t done anything.”

Steve’s landlady, Shelley, described Steve as ‘sobbing and distraught’ after returning to his home in Portsmouth, Hampshire following the recording of the talk show on May 2.

“He was traumatised. Steve said it was quite nasty on the show,” Shelley recalled.

Former staff and guests’ shocking insight

The Jeremy Kyle Show has not aired since it was cancelled on that day



While ITV conducted their internal review, former staff members and guests gave shocking insights into what it was really like behind-the-scenes.

Particular criticism was given to the show’s aftercare procedure and handling of participants once they had left the studio.

TV producer Gavin Hill, who was hired to film behind-the-scenes on the show, told The Mirror he was ‘horrified’ by what he saw.

“It was shocking the very little amount of ointment they put on these people before they sent them away – the box is ticked, we’ve done our bit.

“It was like a sticking plaster. I found it horrific watching this take place.

“[Therapist] Graham [Stanier] tried to put their lives back together before they left – but what struck me was how they’d ruthlessly broken them in the first place.”

Harry Henson and brother Charlie had appeared on the show



Harry Henson, who appeared on the show in 2015 in the hope of proving he didn’t steal a set of golf clubs from his mum’s partner, told Mirror Online he ended up homeless and suicidal after a lie detector test indicated he was lying.

“Pretty much the care after that was rubbish – it felt like I got abused in a way, like I was taken the p*** out of,” he said.

“I was homeless because of it, I got disowned and at Christmas I had to sit on the doorstep of my mum’s house.

“It was very bad for me – distressing, I had to go on Mirtazapine and Citalopram. I’ve got a personality disorder and ADHD and the way I got treated afterwards, I felt like a dog.

“It was shameful, I felt violated because there was no aftercare, they just shoved me in a taxi and that was it.”

An anonymous former runner even alleged there was violence backstage, guests would be allowed access to alcohol the night before and were dressed in tracksuits and hoodies that were not their own.

The former runner told the BBC : “I saw things that you would never imagine happening on any other TV programme – guests running around the place uncontrollably, screaming and swearing at production crew.

“Guests were put up in a hotel close to the studio, sometimes with access to a mini-bar so they could get wasted the night before.

ITV did not respond to specific allegations made by Hill and Henson but did provide this statement.

ITV’s full statement

ITV released a statement


AFP/Getty Images)

“ITV has many years experience of broadcasting and creating programmes featuring members of the public and each of our productions has duty of care measures in place for contributors. These will be dependent on the type of show and will be proportionate for the level of activity of each contributor and upon the individual. All of our processes are regularly reviewed to ensure that they are fit for purpose in an ever changing landscape.

“In the case of The Jeremy Kyle Show, the programme has significant and detailed duty of care processes in place for contributors pre, during and post show which have been built up over 14 years, and there have been numerous positive outcomes from this, including people who have resolved complex and long-standing personal problems.

“Prior to the show a comprehensive assessment is carried out by the guest welfare team on all potential contributors. The guest welfare team consists of four members of staff, one consultant psychotherapist and three mental health nurses.

“The guests are interviewed by guest welfare face to face at studios and prior to filming. Throughout filming the participants are supported by the guest welfare team in the studios during the recording phase of their show. After filming has ended all guests are seen by a member of the guest welfare team to ensure they are feeling calm and emotionally settled before any participant leaves to travel home.

“An evaluation of their needs is also carried out at this time and should they require any ongoing service regarding the problem they discussed on the show then appropriate solutions are found for them. This could include residential rehabilitation, counselling, anger management, family mediation, child access mediation or couple counselling for example.

“The day after recording of the show the participant will be contacted by production to carry out a welfare check and provide details of the services that have been sourced for them. The production team keep in touch with the participants in the days between recording and transmission and participants are given a production mobile contact number should they need to contact the show at any point following transmission.

“To continue best practice, we regularly review our processes.

“As we have said, everyone at ITV and The Jeremy Kyle Show is shocked and saddened at the news of the death of a participant in the show a week after the recording of the episode they featured in and our thoughts are with their family and friends. We will not screen the episode in which they featured.

“Given the seriousness of this event, ITV has also decided to suspend both filming and broadcasting of The Jeremy Kyle Show with immediate effect in order to give it time to conduct a review of this episode of the show, and we cannot comment further until this review is completed.”

ITV colleagues controversially defend the show

Piers Morgan defended the show



With the pressure building to permanently axe The Jeremy Kyle Show, a small minority actually came out in its defence.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Piers Morgan insisted guests knew the risks of appearing on the show and questioned what more show bosses could be doing.

While speaking to Lord Sugar about The Apprentice’s recruitment procedures, Piers said: “Ultimately the issue, it seems to me, seeing this with two Love Island contestants who took their lives and now this tragedy on The Jeremy Kyle Show, these people are going on television.

“No one is forcing them to. It raises a lot of complex issues on whether they are up for doing it.

You can check people as much as they like but ultimately if they want to do it, they know the show they’re appearing on and they know what will happen.”

Piers then questioned whether it was possible to stop the negative ‘side effects’ of appearing on a national TV show.

He added: “It’s hard, with so many shows on television, to know how you could stop any risk really of any side effects of a negative way of people who would appear on television.”

Emma Kenny also defended the show



This Morning psychologist Emma Kenny also came out in defence of the show and suggested it shoudn’t be banned by ITV.

Emma claimed the show was not to blame for Steve’s death and that those taking part knew exactly what they’re signing up for.

Taking to Twitter, she said: “If Jeremy Kyle gets banned then you better be ready for a hundred other shows to follow.

“You may not like it, and you certainly don’t have too, but people have a right to watch and a right to be a contributor. That’s democracy and freedom of choice right there.”

She added: “It’s this mentality that all the contributors are completely vulnerable idiots who wander blindly onto the set COMPLETELY BLIND to the show, only to be bullied mercilessly by the audience and staff.

“It’s bizarre. If you don’t like it, then don’t watch and don’t apply.”

Emma’s controversial comments sparked a fierce debate on social media.

The Jeremy Kyle Show cancelled forever

Jeremy said he was devastated and sent his condolences to Steve’s family

After a couple of days of speculation, on May 15 it was announced that The Jeremy Kyle Show had been permanently cancelled after 14 years on air.

Carolyn McCall, ITV’s CEO, said: “Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of The Jeremy Kyle Show.

“The Jeremy Kyle Show has had a loyal audience and has been made by a dedicated production team for 14 years, but now is the right time for the show to end.

“Everyone at ITV’s thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Steve Dymond.

“The previously announced review of the episode of the show is underway and will continue.

“ITV will continue to work with Jeremy Kyle on other projects.”

Host Jeremy was said to be distraught after learning Steve had been found dead just days after filming on his show.

Jeremy said: “Myself and the production team I have worked with for the last 14 years are all utterly devastated by the recent events.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with Steve’s family and friends at this incredibly sad time.”

Failure of responsibility and lie detector accuracy

Executive producer Tom McLennan spoke in front of the committee

ITV bosses appeared in front of a House of Commons committee in June 2020 as part of an inquiry into reality TV organised by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Chairman Damian Collins said that Jeremy Kyle himself, who fronted the show for its duration, declined to attend.

The committee asked ITV chiefs about how participants were selected and how accurate lie detector tests were, as well as demanding details on documents that guests on reality TV shows are asked to sign.

A clip from some lie detector test results being handed out on the programme was shown to the committee before they began their discussions.

Tom McLennan, executive producer of the Jeremy Kyle Show, told the committee: “We have always made it clear to audiences and participants that the lie detector is not 100% accurate.”

Chairman of the DMCS Committee, Damian Collins MP, said experts say the tests are only around 66% accurate.

Mr McLennan stressed that those taking part in a test were told it was not accurate.

But Mr Collins said host Jeremy presented the results as “black and white” and that it had caused “considerable amounts of stress” to people.

He pressed Mr McLennan on the research he had done to decipher how accurate the tests are, and found it unacceptable that they hadn’t looked into it further given that it’s become one of the most controversial aspects of the show.

Chairman of the DMCS Committee, Damian Collins MP

Mr McLennan was called “irresponsible” for not finding out the range of accuracy despite being “responsible” for the show, but defended himself by stating he is “not a lie detector expert”,

Mr Collins said he didn’t feel that the accuracy of the tests was portrayed properly to people taking part in one, despite how big an impact it can have on their lives.

When asked why they used “something so flawed”, Mr McLennan replied: “We use different tools, we use DNA testing, we put people in rehab to try and help them with drug and alcohol abuse, we use a range of different things and the lie detector is one of them. We made it very clear that it wasn’t 100% accurate.”

MPs then accused ITV Studios of “corporate failure of responsibility” towards Jeremy Kyle’s guests after viewing behind-the-scenes footage from a whistleblower of guests being filmed backstage and in dressing rooms.

The committee said the footage “makes a mockery of the ‘aftercare’ it has claimed to provide” and participants were being “exploited” for the “purpose of entertainment”.

They added that presenter Kyle would “sometimes (use) abusive language” which “could be edited out of the broadcasted show”.

Expert advisers viewed the footage and expressed deep concerns at a level of “humiliation, denigration and provocation that a participant is subjected” to.

Jeremy Kyle’s replacement and comeback

Holly and Phillip started This Morning an hour earlier


Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

In the absence of The Jeremy Kyle Show in the daytime line-up, ITV bosses agreed a plan to extend their other shows rather than replace it with something new.

Good Morning Britain was extended an extra half hour to 9am, with Lorraine Kelly staying on for her usual hour-long slot before This Morning began at the earlier time of 10am.

This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby reportedly taking home £300,000 extra to cover the extra 30 minutes – and the changes have remained until today.

ITV boss Kevin Lygo confirmed that Jeremy Kyle was working on a brand new show to air on ITV, saying: “He was devastated. He really upset and obviously distraught someone had died who had recently been on his show and understood the decision.

“For him suddenly overnight to have lost the job he has been lorded over for 15 years, was a big jolt.”

Lygo confirmed ITV was “piloting” Kyle’s new project and that his investigative series The Kyle Files would return in 2020.

The ITV boss added: “We are piloting something with him and we will just have to have a look because he is a consummate broadcaster and it would be absolutely wrong to apportion blame of the show against the presenter of it.

“We don’t hold him in any bad way. We will look to find another show with him but I think it is unlikely it will go in the same slot.”

However, Kyle has yet to return to our screens and it is unclear what his role now is at ITV.

Inquest into Steve Dymond’s death

Jane was Steve Dymond’s fiancee


Channel 4/ Jeremy Kyle Show Death On Daytime)

At a pre-inquest review at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court in October 2020, assistant coroner Lincoln Brookes was told about some of the “broad themes” Mr Dymond’s family would be raising.

Speaking on behalf of the family, barrister Caoilfhionn Gallagher said Mr Dymond was “exceptionally vulnerable” and had stopped taking prescribed anti-depressants in order to take the show’s polygraph test.

She said: “After his cruel shaming he did not get the appropriate support from the aftercare team.”

Ms Gallagher claimed the family had seen “no evidence” that Mr Dymond was given any welfare checks by any qualified mental health staff.

The barrister said the family has now requested internal ITV interview notes from Jeremy Kyle, the assistant producer, a researcher, and the aftercare and polygraph teams.

They have also asked for the unedited recording of the show, which ITV’s barrister, Simon Antrobus, agreed to provide.

A pre-inquest review hearing took place on July 3 before Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Area Coroner Jason Pegg.

During the hearing, which was cut short by technical troubles, Area Coroner Pegg opened by stating the registered cause of death.

He told the court: “[Dymond] died at his home address in Portsmouth. The medical cause of death given is an overdose of morphine and left ventricular hypertrophy.”

Major changes to ITV aftercare

New Love Island guidelines were brought in



Following Steve’s tragic death, there were calls for Love Island to also be cancelled as Islanders Sophie Gradon, 32 and Mike Thalassitis, 26, had both taken their own lives after appearing on the show.

New Love Island aftercare guidelines stipulated that series five contestants would be given at least eight therapy sessions after the show ended and contact with the contestants would continue for 14 months after the end of the next series.

New guidelines showed that additional help will be available where applicable and that bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to their new lifestyle would also be offered.

In addition, ITV brought in a psychologist to support cast and crews with their mental health following Steve’s death.

Their role was to “provide a professional overview to help manage risks during casting, filming and for an aftercare period to manage the mental health of cast and crew”.

They were expected to identify risks to mental health before programmes are commissioned and provide monitoring through pre-production, according to the advert.

Another aspect of their role was to provide appropriate aftercare arrangements and prepare contestants for life after shows, including “social media training”.

ITV also launched Britain Get Talking, an initiative supported by Mind, Young Minds and SAMH, which is the first stage of ITV’s new five year Mental Wellness Campaign at the heart of its Social Purpose strategy.

Future of Jeremy Kyle

Jeremy has yet to return to ITV

An inquest into Mr Dymond’s death is still ongoing which prevents Kyle from discussing in detail the circumstances around the death.

Coroner Jason Pegg has confirmed that Kyle will be called to give evidence to the inquest as a witness.

Kyle has not been back on TV, but did return t o broadcasting with his own weekday talkRadio show in September last year.

The presenter confessed he felt “scapegoated”, telling The Sun: “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.”

He also said famous friends who he’d been close to for years simply “disappeared”, but he singled out Piers Morgan. Dec Donnelly, Eamonn Holmes, Ruth Langsford, Rob Rinder and Kate Garraway for supporting him.

Kyle went on to express his sadness over Steve’s death, saying “the whole thing was a terrible tragedy”.

Claiming it also had a huge impact on the crew that had worked on the series, he said: “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.

“When I was told they were cancelling it completely, my first reaction was a sort of incredulous shock, and then really just devastation. And then suddenly I felt like I was on the periphery of it.”

*Jeremy Kyle Show: Death On Daytime airs tonight and tomorrow on Channel 4 at 9pm

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