THE MP of a grandfather found dead after being filmed failing a lie detector test on The Jeremy Kyle Show has said the ‘tragic situation’ must serve as a ‘wake up call’.
Steven Dymond, 63, was found dead on May 9 after trying to prove he had not been unfaithful to his fiancee while filming for the long-established ITV show on May 2.
Paramedics said he had been dead for sometime when he was found at his home in Grafton Street, Buckland.
His MP, Portsmouth North's Penny Mordaunt, who also serves as defence secretary, told The News: ‘This is a tragic situation and my thoughts are with his loved ones.
‘It should be a wake up call to the producers of this kind of formatted programme which can often exploit the most vulnerable.’
While Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan added: ‘‘The news that a man with connections to Portsmouth has died following his appearance on a reality TV show is truly tragic and my thoughts are with his family and loved ones.
‘Broadcasters and production companies have absolute responsibility for the wellbeing of those who feature on their shows. It is evident in this case they have failed to do their job.
‘Regressive, jeering shows that may prey on vulnerable people under the false guise of offering guidance and support have no place in society. I join other MPs from across the House of Commons in condemning them.
‘Once the details of this case have emerged in full, I will be writing to the government minister responsible to call for more stringent protections for people who feature on reality television programmes and calling for a review of the show in question.’
Production bosses have denied the death was linked to the show. ITV pulled the episode before it aired after learning of Mr Dymond’s death and all episodes were removed from on-demand service ITV Hub.
Mr Dymond took a lie-detector test to convince fiancee Jane Callaghan he had not been unfaithful but they split after he failed, the Sun reported yesterday.
Ms Callaghan told the newspaper: ‘We got engaged Christmas Day 2017. He was crying, the love was real. He was the most generous and loving person.
‘He was quietly struggling and we didn't know at the time. He cheated on me, I know he did. I can't forgive but I just want him to be alive.’
Yesterday Professor Sir Simon Wessely, former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said the show should be dropped and Jeremy Kyle's ‘help’ stretches the meaning of the word to the limit.
‘It's the theatre of cruelty,’ he said and added: ‘And yes, it might entertain a million people a day, but then again so did Christians versus lions.’
It emerged that digger driver Mr Dymond, who was said to have depression, had left the home he shared with his fiancee in Gosport and was living in Grafton Street as a lodger in a 55-year-old woman’s home.
The landlord, who asked to be referred to as Shelley, said he was ‘sobbing and distraught’ after returning home from the filming.
She told the Daily Mail: ‘Four days later he was dead. I really believe it was the show that tipped him over the edge.'
An ITV spokesman told the Daily Mail: 'The Jeremy Kyle Show 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.
Yesterday it emerged Southampton magistrates had issued a no-bail warrant for his arrest over a February court date when he had been summoned to pay off a fine of around £4,300 dating back to 1997.
A South Central Ambulance Service spokesman said they received a 999 call on May 9 at 1.11pm saying a man was found dead in a property in Grafton Street.
He added: ‘We sent an ambulance and a paramedic team leader in a rapid response vehicle to the scene.
‘They reported back that the patient had been deceased for a number of days and informed Hampshire police, as is normal procedure in an unexpected death. Once the police had arrived, our staff left the premises.’
A Hampshire police spokesman said: ‘The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file is being prepared for the coroner.’