An interesting tweet from Ian Lavery Jnr, the son of Ian Lavery MP, being shared across social networks: ‘Guest dies a week after filming an episode of Jeremy Kyle and everybody has their pitchforks calling for the show to be cancelled. 2 contestants from Love Island commit suicide but they can’t fucking wait for that show to come back on TV.’ I’m far too polite to respond to Facebook in the way I am about to on my own blog: what a load of bollocks.
I assume Lavery doesn’t mean literally that “everybody has their pitchforks” because it is a moot point to suggest that everyone actually has a pitchfork. He is trying to make a point. That everyone wants the Jeremy Kyle show to be axed.
This assumes that everyone gives a toss and given that only a million people watch it, the best part of 60 million people actually don’t. I have seen parts of the Jeremy Kyle show and at first glance thought it was a suitable case for banning. I thought it was pure filth; ugly, exploitative poverty porn. The fact that a million people watched it was not a sufficient reason to keep making it. After all, if you put ISIS murders on after Cornonation Street, I’ll wager far more than a million people would watch them and that would not be reason enough to make more episodes.
However, to suggest that because everyone wants to axe Kyle’s poverty porn does not mean that everyone is desperate to see Love Island. I have never seen a single second of Love Island and barely have an idea what it’s about. According to Lavery Jnr, everyone in the land “can’t fucking wait for that show to come back on TV.” Something like three million people watched the last series of Love Island which means that – well, work it out yourself. Most of us didn’t give a toss.
The suggestion is that the public wants to ban Kyle’s show after one person dies but wants to watch Love Island because two people died. Speaking personally, I do not want to see any kind of programme where people die as a consequence. And in the interests of consistency, I’d axe both programmes. Because, as we know by now, extreme ‘reality TV’ can be bad for your health, even if it’s good for ITV’s wealth.
The conclusion to the scrapping of Kyle’s show will, I predict, not mean the end of the show at all. It will all turn out like the closing down of the News of the World, with the owners and producers drowning in crocodile tears whilst resurrecting the very same newspaper under a rebrand. On a station near you very soon, ‘The New Jeremy Kyle Show’ complete with more vulnerable poor people than ever.