Jeremy Kyle: Messiah or Menace?

February 6, 2013 4:00 pm

Just how far can we trust Jeremy Kyle? Our very own Mr Marmite. Whether you hate him for ‘getting paid to be honest’ as he often remarks, millions of viewers aren’t tuning in by accident. Amongst rumours of staged performances and carefully selected stereotypical horrors, should we hail Mr Kyle a messiah or a menace?

jeremy kyleManchester district Judge Alan Berg would deem him an outright scoundrel. He described Jeremy Kyle’s show as ‘human bear baiting’ disguised as entertainment. The show, of course denies any promotion of violence and I myself take this statement with a pinch of salt. Of course, the guests know there will be an aspect of confrontation – that’s why they have turned up, right? Ah, but the freely given consent is distorted once we learn of the emotional probing behind the scenes. A previous producer of the show admitted to (I believe this is the technical term) bitching. Bitching about the guests to the guests they are about to confront…on a stage…with an over-confident and well-prepared host.

I’ll admit it; I am one of those drones who tune into Jezza while I do a boring task which begs for some background noise to get me through it (just look at me making excuses for my Jeremy Kyle addiction). Despite my secret addition, my main gripe is with the host. I invite you to watch a 1 minute clip of Jeremy Kyle within the first or even second year of his show and compare it with how he acts now. He is sharper, more confident and definitely more conceited. Isn’t it strange how seven years of practicing patronization can make you into a professional piranha feasting on humiliation? To which I ask: how are the guests even meant to look like anything but an unintelligible  deformity against a man who has probably prepared every single witty remark with a 2 hour consultation with his mirror?jeremy kyle skull tattoo

Not only this, but does the sensitivity towards the guests really reach any kind of threshold of the basic human right of respect? Don’t get me wrong, like the rest of you I agree that some of these beauties need a slap of reality and to be booted straight into the nearest bath. Most of us would say ‘I would not let Jeremy Kyle talk to me the way he does to some guests.’  I agree, regardless of how smelly, illiterate or promiscuous I may be. I say that, we all say that; but with a studio audience and an apparent emotional discrepancy (hence why I would be on the show) would I really have the balls to tell Jeremy Kyle he was acting a wee bit of a swine?

Let’s admit it – since Jerry Springer we do love a good shove and shout and an arrogant and suited-n-booted chap stealing the show. Is this what the problem is? We love cheap, nasty and mindless reality television; but we forget the reality. The people and problems are real, but having a giggle at the guests’ expense certainly does not make you a bad person. Thank goodness, otherwise I will be in a hot tub with Satan at some point. Perhaps it would ease the conscience to learn it was all false and we were gasping at paid actors?  Maybe so, but how would we ever engage with the guests? Whether we are crying with them, laughing at them or just plain judging them…we like to know they are real. Secretly, we are all offering our own words of advice and thinking we could do Jeremy Kyle’s job. Although,I would definitely need to hire somebody to scream at the seriously nutty guests from time to time.

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