Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Jeremy Kyle’s controversial talk show made him a daytime TV stalwart

Jeremy Kyle’s controversial talk show made him a daytime TV stalwart. Credit: ITV/Shutterstock

Jeremy Kyle made a name for himself as the host of his eponymous talk show, presiding over rowing members of the public airing their issues on TV.

The confrontational programme, which has been pulled off the air for good following the death of a guest, had been a popular addition to ITV’s daytime schedule since it started in 2005, making the 53-year-old presenter a household name.

The Jeremy Kyle Show centred around its host confronting guests over infidelities, addictions, dysfunctional relationships and parenting methods, among a myriad of other personal disputes.

Prior to his broadcasting career, Kyle worked in Marks & Spencer and had jobs as an insurance salesman and a recruitment consultant before taking on a number of radio presenting jobs in the 1990s.

Jeremy Kyle pictured in 2008. Credit: Ian West/PA

After stints at several local stations, including Kent’s Invicta FM, he joined BRMB in Birmingham, where he fronted the shows Late And Live and Jezza’s Jukebox.

By 2000, Kyle had carved out a respectable radio career and moved to Virgin Radio and then London’s Capital FM, where he hosted his Confessions show, having taken the format with him from Virgin.

The programme was a precursor to what would later inspire his ITV talk show, allowing listeners to call in with their relationship issues and dilemmas while he listened and offered advice.

In July 2005, Kyle was drafted in to host his own talk show on ITV following the departure of Trisha Goddard, who had her own morning programme on the channel.

Reminiscent of The Jerry Springer Show in the US, it was an early hit for tackling issues around traditional family values, and was nominated for a National Television Award in 2007 in the most popular factual programme category.

However, it also divided opinion among viewers for its fiery confrontations and rowdy format, with family members airing their dirty laundry on stage in front of an audience while Kyle would watch on.

Kyle would act as mediator to his guests, being either gentle and kind or shouting at them to pull their lives together.

He drew criticism for his hard-nosed style, but also won himself legions of fans for his tactics.

In 2007, Manchester judge Alan Berg described the programme as “human bear-baiting” and that it existed to “titillate bored members of the public with nothing better to do”.

In 2011, Kyle took his programme over to the US to launch his programme Stateside, but it was cancelled the following year due to poor ratings.

Away from The Jeremy Kyle Show, he has acted as a guest presenter on ITV’s Good Morning Britain since 2016, and he has fronted a number of other programmes, including Military Driving School, Jeremy Kyle’s Emergency Room and the game show High Stakes.

In 2009, he released his first book, I’m Only Being Honest, focusing on the UK’s social issues and his opinions on how to solve them.

Kyle’s personal life has seen him make headlines over the years.

Jeremy Kyle and Carla Germaine Credit: Yui Mok/PA

He married his first wife Kirsty Rowley in 1989 but they split soon after due to Kyle’s gambling addiction.

He met Carla Germaine when she entered a competition to marry a stranger on Birmingham radio station BRMB, where Kyle was working at the time.

She married the stranger but they later split up and she got together with Kyle, marrying him in 2002.

In 2015 they split after 13 years of marriage, and were granted a decree nisi the following year, with a lawyer for Germaine petitioning for divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.

Last year, Kyle became engaged to Vicky Burton, the former nanny of his children.

Kyle has four children – a daughter with Rowley, and two daughters and a son with Germaine.

The broadcaster revealed he had obsessive compulsive disorder in 2009, admitting that he would often lick his phone to make sure it was clean, among other things, and in 2012 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Following the cancellation of The Jeremy Kyle Show, ITV has said it will continue to work with Kyle on other projects.