MPs launch inquiry into reality TV following deaths

MPs launch inquiry into reality TV following deaths

ACTION: A formal inquiry could be launched in parliament surrounding aftercare for reality TV contestants

A FORMAL inquiry into the treatment of reality show contestants will take place following the deaths of former guests on The Jeremy Kyle Show and Love Island.

According to The Guardian Damian Collins MP said digital, culture, media and sport select committee, which he chairs, will launch the formal inquiry into the British reality TV programme industry.

ITV executives are expected to be called into parliament to give evidence in public hearing on the aftercare and mental health support provided for show participants.

The move follows the cancellation of the Jeremy Kyle Show after a former guest, Steve Dymond died.

“ITV has made the right decision to permanently cancel The Jeremy Kyle Show,” said Collins. “However, that should not be the end of the matter. There needs to be an independent review of the duty of care TV companies have to participants in reality TV shows and the DCMS select committee has decided to hold an inquiry this summer into these issues.”

He added: “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.

“This kind of TV featuring members of the public attracts viewing figures in the millions but in return for ratings, the broadcasters must demonstrate their duty of care to the people whose personal lives are being exposed.

“With an increasing demand for this type of programming, we’ll be examining broadcasting regulation in this area – is it fit for purpose?”

Alongside the death of Dymond, two reality show contestants from Love Island also died after appearing on the show.

As conversations around mental health support grows, tighter regulations for reality TV shows might be required, which could increase costs.

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