Fans of the Jeremy Kyle show have hit out at ITV, accusing them of hypocrisy for failing to axe Love Island after the deaths of Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon.
The daytime show was taken off air on Tuesday and axed permanently after guest Steven Dymond, 63, was found dead a week after appearing on the programme.
The end of the show has led for renewed calls for Love Island to be culled after Mike, 26, and Sophie, 32, both took their own lives.
Backlash: Fans of the Jeremy Kyle show have hit out at ITV, accusing them of hypocrisy for failing to axe Love Island after the deaths of Mike Thalassitis (pictured 2017 and Sophie Gradon
Jeremy Kyle guest Steven died in a suspected suicide a week after appearing on the show with his on-and-off girlfriend Jane Callaghan.
He is said to have been left devastated and feeling suicidal after being confronted about allegations of infidelity and was asked to sit a lie detector test, a regular feature of the show. According to friends, he was labelled a liar after he failed the test.
In a dramatic move, ITV halted the scheduled broadcast, suspended filming of the show and removed all past episodes from its catch-up website.
The end of Jeremy Kyle has led for renewed calls for Love Island to be culled after Mike, 26, and Sophie, 32, (pictured 2016) both took their own lives
MPs called for the show to be scrapped because it exploited vulnerable people.
On Thursday, ITV announced the programme, which had been on air since 2005, was axed permanently.
ITV chief Carolyn McCall admitted it was ‘the right time for the show to end’.
She said: ‘Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of The Jeremy Kyle Show.
‘The Jeremy Kyle Show has had a loyal audience and has been made by a dedicated production team for 14 years, but now is the right time for the show to end.’
Culled: On Thursday, ITV announced The Jeremy Kyle Show, which had been on air since 2005, was axed permanently
Following the news, Jeremy Kyle fans have called out ITV for pulling the show, while ‘cash cow’ Love Island, which is set to return on June 3, continues despite the deaths of Mike and Sophie.
Nicola McLean believes the host of the daytime show is being made a scapegoat.
Speaking on Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine before ITV announced The Jeremy Kyle Show has been axed for good, she said: ‘I do think JK is being victimised. Why is it only his show being pulled off the air?
‘He’s done a lot of good and I think he’s been wrongly victimised. I think it’s a very bizarre … Love Island is coming on very soon, the show that’s making the most money for ITV brand and I think this is a mask so we don’t have to ban Love Island. ‘Let’s get Jeremy Kyle so we don’t have to get that.’
Asked if she thinks The Jeremy Kyle Show should be axed, she said: ‘I don’t care about the show, I care about just, and if he’s getting cancelled, so should Love Island.’
Fellow guest Calum Best also feels the presenter has been unfairly targeted and suggested much of the blame should lie with the age of social media.
He said: ‘I know Jeremy and I don’t think he should be targeted, maybe the show as a whole because of what it does and how it makes people feel.
‘You get something like ‘Love Island’, obviously it’s really sad someone took their own life, that is tragic.
‘Overall I look at it like social media has a huge part to play. Reality shows can be great, a great opportunity but the downside is if you don’t have a thick skin – and you shouldn’t have to – having people tell you so instantly their thoughts and opinions on you, it can affect people who don’t know how to deal with it.’
Tragedy: Sophie was found hanged in her home in Ponteland, Northumberland in June last year by her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong who later took who is own life
Gaining 14,000 likes on Twitter, Katie Hopkins led the campaign as she wrote: ‘Jeremy Kyle Show, 3320 episodes. 16 series. 1 death – suspected suicide.
‘ITV pull show. Mass hysteria. The mob mobilises.
‘Love Island, 148 episodes. 4 series. 2 deaths – suspected suicide.
‘ITV celebrate success. Most watched non-terrestrial program. 2019 promo underway.’
Another typed: ‘Jeremy Kyle Show has been taken off air after one death in 14 years. In 3 weeks #LoveIsland comes back on air after 2 deaths in just 4 seasons. Both shows are on ITV but it seems treated differently, probably as one makes far more cash for the station than the other.
A third added: ‘As much as I enjoy love island, its hypocritical of itv to axe Jeremy Kyle following the death of a contestant (first in 14 years) but continue to air love island after the death of 2 contestant in 4 years. I guess money is more important than welfare to them.’
MailOnline has contacted Love Island representatives for comment.
Sophie, meanwhile, was found hanged in her home in Ponteland, Northumberland in June last year by her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong and his brother Ryan.
Morals: Following the news, fans have called out ITV for pulling Jeremy Kyle, while ‘cash cow’ Love Island, which is set to return on June 3, continues despite the deaths of Mike and Sophie
Aaron was found dead aged 25 at his own home just 20 days later in the same circumstances.
Love Island’s Sophie, who died aged 32, had binged on cocaine and alcohol before her death, an inquest heard.
The hearing was also told she was struggling with the death of her close friend Paul Burns.
While they did not attend the hearing, her devastated parents Deborah and Colin have disagreed with the inquest verdict.
They said their daughter had an undiagnosed brain injury called Arteriovenous malformation (AVM), that can affect a person’s reasoning abilities.
The axing comes after reports Love Island will not be pay tribute to Mike at the start of the show’s new series next month.
The show will instead honour the late reality star on ITV’s on-demand service as ‘it felt more appropriate to do it there’, a source told The Sun.
The service will play alongside the 2017 series in which Mike starred in, and will soon be available as a boxset on the ITV hub.
MailOnline contacted Love Island representatives at the time.
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Tribute: The axing comes after reports Love Island will not be pay tribute to Mike at the start of the show’s new series next month