The Jeremy Kyle Show may have now been axed but it’s only one of many television shows that take advantage of the people appearing on it. I do not mean that it takes advantage of all the people who willingly choose to go on it, but certainly the vulnerable and disadvantaged.
Much as the programme was often referred to as the ‘Jeremy Vile Show’, it also had a following of staunch supporters.
The viewing figures had kept it on air for 14 years, perhaps off the back of similarly successful US shows, such as Jerry Springer et al.
Some folk have argued that these are adult human beings and they are making the choice to appear on the show, knowing its format and what may happen to them.
However, there are many choices that adults can make, and when you’re not in your best frame of mind, or you’re at your most vulnerable, it’s not usually a good idea to be making life-changing decisions that involve your bare bones being laid out in public.
Especially not for a baying audience.
It is akin to gladiators in the ring, surrounded by cheering and goading, with Kyle as ringmaster of this modern day circus show.
There are laws in place to protect the most fragile in society – in plenty of circumstances we prevent adults making dangerous choices – particularly in the area of mental health, with sectioning being perhaps the most extreme.
When we are at our lowest ebb, we need those around us to provide an emotional holding pen for us.
We need people to support us and lift us up when we cannot support ourselves, nor make sentient and balanced decisions that we will not come to regret deeply a month, a year, or a decade later.
To be able to stand on TV and refer to other human beings – whatever they’ve done – as a ‘disgrace’ or worse, while encouraging the audience to berate them, is utterly unthinkable to me.
Kyle has made his fortune doing it, but where his bank balance may be bulging, the balance of his conscience is certainly lacking.
During tough times we need compassion, not machines
The colloquial term for a psychiatrist, a ‘shrink’, refers to the fact that they will help you to shrink your world down.
When everything gets a bit too much, when there are too many decisions to make, and too many thoughts for your head to hold, therapy can help you to whittle things down – to think a bit clearer, and to begin to gain control.
The issue with the Jeremy Kyle Show was that when we are having a torrid time and life is unravelling, we need more than some token duty of care sit-downs with a shrink.
It takes time in our lives, sometimes months or years, to sort ourselves out and get into a better place.
It takes work and a team effort – not lie detectors and abuse.
Those balmy days of spring 2018 are much longed-for
This time last year the days were already warm and the sun was making a much-appreciated appearance.
Remarkably it hung around for a good few months. How sad, therefore, that despite the odd brief respite, garden evenings and paddling pools seem a long way off. I have various friends who’ve emigrated across the years and always to sunnier, brighter climes.
Nobody seems to move to Alaska, do they? Said friends post pictures of white sandy beach clichés and skies of arching blue.
Give me a clichéd beach any day of the week. The duff British spring, where we wander about shivering, is dragging on far too long for my liking.