There are certain axioms in life that are so blindingly obvious they do not really need stating: ‘we’re all going to die’, ‘Dec is better than Ant’, and so on. However, from time to time, people feel the need to reassert these general truths. Recently, as if we needed telling, a judge has declared that ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ is shit. This assertion came after the judge, dealing with the case of two former “Kylers”, realised that the show contained ‘cruelty and exploitation’ without even having watched the programme. Who’d have thought it?
For Impact readers who have not had the privilege of watching ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ (presumably a minority), it is a pseudo-counselling programme, with the supposed intention of ameliorating relationships, discerning fake dads from real dads, and bad liars from even worse liars. Kyle and his band of producers cobble together a poor man’s ‘Jerry Springer Show’, one devoid of the personalities, scandal and bald security men that its richer, American brother possesses. Dealing with a diverse range of issues such as ‘who is the real father of my son?’ and ‘who is my child’s dad?’, Kyle presents those who idiotically believe that the best way to resolve their miserable relationships is by “’avin’ it aaat” in public, as they entangle themselves in a web of lies, sleaze and rotting teeth. In true pantomime style, Kyle uses his audience as a barometer of morality: the bigger the ‘boo’, the more of a twat you are. Once the boos have reached their zenith, the eternal line ‘Get off my stage’ is bellowed by Kyle: a conclusive judgement that renders the boo-ee speechless and defenceless.
‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ is television detritus. Yet bizarrely, the show attracts over one million viewers daily, simply because the public love scandal. Humans have a deep-rooted, voyeuristic tendency to see how others live, and laugh at their failings, like at Victorian freak-shows. Thanks to people’s inherent longing to gossip, Kyle is, sadly, guaranteed viewers.
With its warped take on things, ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ is like an evil version of the Samaritans – willing to provide a shoulder to cry on, so long as the camera gets a good close-up of your tears and impassioned wailing. How can a programme be so insensitive and still maintain a moral high ground? Kyle often says that ‘people come on here looking for the truth’ – well, here it is, Jeremy: your programme is shit, your set design is shit, and your grammar is shit. Sit down, shut up, and get off our screens!
By James Adams-Pace