The damage caused by reality TV programmes like The Jeremy Kyle Show, often by baiting and manipulating very vulnerable people in the name of ‘entertainment’, has been apparent for some time. Over a decade ago, I introduced a Bill in Parliament with the aim of protecting the privacy of children in the media and preventing the avoidable emotional distress resulting from media attention, such as those whose paternity is revealed on national television.
While my Bill did not go on to become law, I am pleased that The Jeremy Kyle Show has at long last been axed, protecting children and adults alike from the distress caused by its morally bankrupt practices. It should not, however, have taken the death by suicide of several of the show’s participants for this to happen. I extend my sympathies to the families of all those affected and hope that the lessons learnt will prevent similar shows being broadcast in the future.