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MPs grilled senior staff of the Jeremy Kyle Show today over the “irresponsible” use of unreliable lie detector tests believed to have contributed to a guest’s suicide.
The managers were hauled in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee to answer questions about the confrontational ITV show in response to the death of Steve Dymond.
He died around a week after his fiancee broke up with him for reportedly failing a love-cheat lie detector test carried out by the show.
Committee chairman Damian Collins said a professor has deemed lie-detector tests to be only 66 per cent accurate.
He said the show’s bosses should have known more about the accuracy of the tests that are used to confront participants about their personal lives for the purpose of entertainment.
The show’s host Jeremy Kyle has refused to respond to an invite by the MPs after the show was axed in May, and could be found to be in contempt of Parliament as a result.
Executive producer Tom McLennan told the committee: “We’ve always made it very, very clear to viewers and participants of the show that the lie detector is not 100 per cent accurate.”
Mr Collins responded: “If it wasn’t for the lie-detector test, we might not be sitting here today.
“The disclaimer doesn’t mean very much, does it? It’s being presented as black and white... That’s causing considerable distress.”
He said it was “astonishing” that “you don’t know itself what the range is, in terms of the likeliness of getting a true, accurate reading … I’m disappointed that you can’t do that.”
Mr McLennan said he was “not a lie-detector expert,” adding: “Jeremy did have a strong opinion about the lie detector. He’s got very strong views.... He strongly believed in the tests.”
MPs also accused the show of “tearing apart” the participants “in a Roman Colosseum like-way,” and of making “predatory programming and trash television” for entertainment.
The show’s director of aftercare Graham Stanier also appeared in front of the MPs and said he was not responsible for Mr Kyle’s “passionate, opinionated” style and “behaviour.”
ITV Studios managing director Julian Bellamy said there were “absolutely no plans to bring back a show that looks or feels like a Jeremy Kyle show.”
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