‘They use you and then drop you with no support’ - Norfolk mum who appeared on Jeremy Kyle speaks out
- Credit: Rachel Roberts
Two women from Norfolk have spoken about their relief at the cancellation of The Jeremy Kyle Show after both said they felt exploited and misrepresented when they appeared on the programme.
ITV announced the long running daytime TV show would be permanently cancelled following the news that guest Steve Dymond had taken his own life a week after filming an episode in which he failed a lie detector test.
The news sparked a wide debate about the responsibility of the show to its guests and encouraged closer scrutiny about whether mental health is compromised for profit by the entertainment industry.
Rachel Roberts, 31, from Dereham, went on The Jeremy Kyle show in 2016 as a last ditch attempt to get the father of her daughter to give up drugs.
Hopeful for a resolution, Miss Roberts shared the details of the circumstances of her relationship in front of the studio audience and subsequently television viewers.
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However, Miss Roberts said her experience on the show was very negative as she was led to perform in a certain way.
She said: "The people working on the show were telling me what to do, winding me up, telling me to jump up out of my chair and cry.
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"Jeremy Kyle himself was okay towards me, but he was very extreme and exaggerating everything."
Miss Roberts said perhaps the worst aspect of her experience was the lack of support she received when filming was over.
"My ex went to rehab after the show but he left early and there was no check in by the show at all," she added.
"They knew how bad the situation was for us and they use you for a good story and then they completely drop you with no support."
Miss Roberts was left dealing with mental health issues after she appeared on the show and expressed her relief that it has been permanently cancelled.
She said: "I suffered with anxiety and depression after being on the show, you come off the stage just feeling really awful.
"What happened with the man who took his own life - honestly I'm not surprised.
"In my opinion getting cancelled is the best thing that can happen to a show like that, I'm glad there won't be any more."
Another Norfolk woman, who does not want to be named, also got in touch to highlight her negative experience on the show.
A victim of child abuse when she was younger, she had agreed to appear on the show to raise awareness about how paedophiles target entire families in their predatory pursuit of children.
She also wanted to get the name and face of her convicted abuser out to the public, so other victims might come forward.
But she felt her intent was ignored by the show runners, however, who made her appearance about her personal life instead.
She said: "I was really unhappy with the things they decided to focus on, it was not at all why I had gone on the show.
"They cut out the bits I had wanted to talk about and instead made it about how what my sex life with my husband was like and if it had been affected by the abuse.
"It was the opposite of why I went on."
In a statement released yesterday ITV addressed the ethics of the show.
They said: "In the case of The Jeremy Kyle Show, the programme has significant and detailed duty of care processes in place for contributors pre, during and post show which have been built up over 14 years, and there have been numerous positive outcomes from this, including people who have resolved complex and long-standing personal problems.
"Prior to the show a comprehensive assessment is carried out by the guest welfare team on all potential contributors.
The guest welfare team consists of four members of staff, one consultant psychotherapist and three mental health nurses."
If you are struggling with feelings of desperation or isolation you can contact the Samaritans on 116123.