Julian Bellamy, the Managing Director of ITV Studios, has been asked to explain why presenter Jeremy Kyle “demeaned and humiliated contributors” on his controversial show, which was axed in May following the death of a guest.
Damian Collins, chair of the all-party digital, culture, media and sport committee, has written to Bellamy demanding answers to questions about the manner in which Kyle treated contributors on his show.
It is part of the ongoing DCMS inquiry into realty television by the committee, which Kyle refused to appear before earlier this year.
Collins writes: “In the standard letter sent by ITV Studios, guests are told to avoid… aggression and swearing. In rushes viewed by the Committee, Jeremy Kyle uses demeaning and insulting language to a contributor, and in relation to their partner.
“Did Jeremy Kyle face any consequences for the language he used while filming? Why is it one rule for the presenter, and one for contributors? Do you accept that this level of provocation, towards often vulnerable contributors with no TV experience, is highly unethical?
“Do you accept that Jeremy Kyle at times demeaned and humiliated contributors, setting a power dynamic via his body language by standing over them, and using mockery and insulting language?”
Collins also asks to what extent Kyle was involved in the production and directing of The Jeremy Kyle Show, as he appears to overrule the director in rushes seen by the committee.
Bellamy has been asked to provide a written response by Friday 25th October and is “advised that we intend to publish the questions we have sent you, and would expect to publish your responses in due course as additional evidence to the inquiry.”