ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall has said in an email to staff the decision to take The Jeremy Kyle Show off air is “the best way” to protect it following the death of a guest.
The confrontational talk show was suspended indefinitely by the broadcaster following the death of the participant, named as 63-year-old Steve Dymond, a week after the programme was filmed.
Mr Dymond reportedly took a lie-detector test to convince fiancée Jane Callaghan he had not been unfaithful, but they split after he failed.
An email sent to staff by Dame Carolyn said that it “was a very difficult decision to make” to halt filming and broadcasting of the programme, but they felt it would be “inappropriate to continue to broadcast the show when a participant on it has so recently died”.
The email said: “This decision is not in any way a reflection on the show, but the best way we think we can protect the show and the production team from the reaction we expect to this death.”
The company-wide message also stated that ITV Studios’ managing director Julian Bellamy would travel to Manchester, where the talk show is filmed, to meet the production team.
It said “everyone involved” would be offered support from the Employee Assistance Programme, as well as access to counsellors.
ITV has been urged to end broadcasts of the programme for good following the apparent suicide of Mr Dymond, who died around a week after filming his episode.
The network said staff at the broadcaster and the show’s production team were “shocked and saddened” at the death and that the episode would be reviewed.
However, MP Damian Collins, chairman of the Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee (DCMS), said TV companies “have a duty to care to the people who take part in their programmes”.
Mr Collins said the DCMS select committee would discuss “what should be done to review the duty of care support for people appearing in reality TV shows” in its private meeting today.
Monday morning’s episode of The Jeremy Kyle Show did not air and ITV has now wiped all episodes of the programme from its on-demand service, the ITV Hub. Episodes will not be shown on ITV2 either.