Revealed: Axed Jeremy Kyle could get £3m pay-off as it emerges he set up his own media company just hours after news broke about guest’s ‘suicide’
Jeremy Kyle could walk away with a £3million golden goodbye after ITV axed his disgraced chat show, the Daily Mail can reveal.
Even before the show was scrapped yesterday, Kyle had swiftly set up his own media company to safeguard his future.
He registered Hales Media Limited on Tuesday, giving his nanny-turned-fiancee Victoria Burton, 35, a stake.
Jeremy Kyle, pictured, registered Hales Media Limited on Tuesday along with his 35-year-old nanny-turned-fiancee Victoria Burton
ITV bosses axed Kyle’s show yesterday follwoing the suicide of Stephen Dymond who was a guest on a show which was yet to be broadcast
The arrangement, potentially to shield future earnings comes after it was claimed that the presenter, known for his aggressive interviewing style, was ‘afraid of being made a scapegoat’ by ITV. Kyle has stayed silent but ITV made the drastic announcement it was scrapping his show hours after the Mail published a string of revelations.
These included how a husband accused Kyle’s producers of fabricating an entire story about his wife cheating – making the couple learn scripts and take a ‘fake’ lie detector test.
ITV said it ‘did not recognise’ the claims but it was just the start of a torrent of allegations against the ‘bear pit-style’ show, whose producers allegedly provoked confrontations among vulnerable guests to whip up a baying audience and boost ratings.
It follows the suspected suicide of grandfather Stephen Dymond, 63, who was distraught after failing a lie test on the show and told relatives Kyle had ‘really laid into him’.
Mr Dymond was found dead at his Portsmouth flat by his landlady, who criticised Kyle, saying: ‘He has not even come forward and said he’s sorry.’
Stephen Dymond, who appeared on the show, was found dead at his Portsmouth flat by his landlady, who criticised Kyle, saying: ‘He has not even come forward and said he’s sorry’
Shortly before 10am yesterday, ITV network chief Carolyn McCall admitted it was ‘the right time’ for the axe to fall, announcing: ‘Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of The Jeremy Kyle Show.’
There has been no suggestion that Kyle has been criticised by ITV for his conduct on the show and Miss McCall said the channel would continue to work with him. More than 3,000 episodes have been shown since July 2005, attracting millions of loyal fans with argumentative discussions about sex and addiction, staged in front of a studio audience.
It was slammed as ‘bear baiting’ by MPs, psychiatrists and former participants and yesterday a parliamentary inquiry was launched into reality television over concerns the genre puts vulnerable contestants at risk.
It follows the suicides of two former contestants on the dating series Love Island, two years after each had appeared on the show. ITV said has brought in a policy where it now makes regular checks in on participants.
Critics have described the Jeremy Kyle show as human ‘bear baiting’ and ‘poverty porn’
Damian Collins, who chairs the Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee, said ITV’s decision to scrap Kyle’s show ‘should not be the end of the matter’ and there needed to be ‘an independent review of the duty of care TV companies have to participants in reality TV shows’.
He said: ‘Programmes like The Jeremy Kyle Show risk putting people who might be vulnerable on to a public stage at a point in their lives when they are unable to foresee the consequences, either for themselves or their families.’
Ofcom is also set to launch a review. Meanwhile, the future of ITV’s biggest daytime TV star is unclear. Based on media trends, Kyle is likely to walk away with a pay-off equal to his £3million annual salary.
He could be gearing up to move his show to the likes of Channel 5, which has a history of scooping up former ITV stars, or to launch his own programme with the help of his newly incorporated production company.
Legal experts suggested Mr Dymond’s family could sue ITV over his death as the programme had ‘a legal duty of care to protect him from foreseeable harm’.
Some fans criticised ITV, saying it was guilty of double standards by putting Love Island back on screen this summer despite the suicides of former contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon. And former X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan alleged that ITV did not take enough care of its reality show stars.
But Kyle was given staunch backed by former EastEnders actress Danniella Westbrook, who said: ‘I’m devastated, because Jeremy has done a lot of good. If it wasn’t for Jeremy Kyle, I probably wouldn’t be alive.
‘At a time when I was very vulnerable he was the only one who stepped up and put me into rehab.
‘A lot of people were fixed by Jeremy Kyle. I don’t think he broke anybody.’
The broadcaster said: ‘ITV takes our responsibilities very seriously and has duty of care measures in place for participants in all of our programmes.
‘We welcome the Select Committee’s announcement and ITV will be fully engaged in their inquiry.’
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