ENTERTAINMENT
21/11/2020 12:51 AM AEDT

Jeremy Kyle 'May Have Caused Or Contributed' To Death Of TV Show Guest, Says Coroner

A preliminary hearing into the death of The Jeremy Kyle Show participant Steve Dymond has opened.

TV presenter Jeremy Kyle “may have caused or contributed to” the death of talk show guest Steve Dymond, a pre-inquest review has heard.

Mr Dymond is suspected to have taken his own life after failing a lie detector test on the now-defunct ITV daytime show. 

The 63-year-old died at his home in Portsmouth, Hampshire, seven days after he had filmed The Jeremy Kyle Show last year.

ITV
Jeremy Kyle

He took the test on the programme to show whether he had cheated on his ex-fiancee Jane Callaghan.

At the preliminary hearing being held into Mr Dymond’s death, coroner Jason Pegg said he has made Mr Kyle an “interested person” for the inquest, stating the presenter is someone “who may have caused or contributed to the death of Stephen Dymond”.

He added: “It might seem ludicrous not to have Mr Kyle to give evidence to give his take on the situation.”

Counsel for Mr Dymond’s family Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC told the Winchester hearing that Mr Dymond became “distressed” after he failed the lie detector test.

She said Mr Dymond had gone on the show to “prove his fidelity”, and had said: “I pushed and pushed but it all went wrong.”

Ms Gallagher said after the result was announced during filming, the audience “booed and jeered” at him and he was “called a failure by the presenter”.

She said Mr Kyle was “in his face” and even when he was “at the point of collapsing, he was still being heckled”.

She said Mr Dymond sought to leave through a side door but found it locked, and she added: “He couldn’t escape the heckling. He was on his hands and knees because he thought he was going to pass out from the stress.”

ITV/Shutterstock
The Jeremy Kyle Show was axed by ITV last year

Ms Gallagher said his state of mind was known by the crew on the show, with a message sent on a WhatsApp group stating: “Just so you know, he’s still crying, he has just said he wishes he was dead. Just giving you the heads up.”

Ms Gallagher added: “While he was still on the programme, within minutes, he was talking about wishing he was dead.”

She said Mr Dymond called his brother as he was taken home by taxi from the show.

In a statement read to the hearing, Leslie Dymond said: “He seemed completely broken and frightened and told me he couldn’t go on living.”

The hearing was told Mr Dymond was originally turned down an appearance on the show but was accepted as a guest after gaining a letter from his doctor.

The inquest has heard he had been receiving mental health care from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

The Jeremy Kyle Show was axed after a 14-year run following the death of Dymond, with Kyle saying he was “utterly devastated”.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee later launched an inquiry into reality TV.

The hearing into Mr Dymond’s death continues.

Useful websites and helplines

Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).

CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.

The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email help@themix.org.uk

Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on rethink.org.