Jeremy Kyle has said he was “cancelled” and suggested he will “fight back” after announcing his return to broadcasting on talkRadio.
The Jeremy Kyle Show was suspended indefinitely by ITV in May 2019 following the death of a participant, 63-year-old Steve Dymond, a week after a programme featuring him was filmed.
The confrontational talk show, which had been a regular fixture in the TV schedule since 2005, was axed for good following calls for it to be cancelled from MPs and members of the public.
On Saturday, talkRadio confirmed Kyle will host a weekday show starting on September 13 from 4-7pm, with a promotional video on social media stating: “After two long years of chaos and division, one man is needed to make sense of it all.”
In an interview shared by the station, Kyle suggested he had been “labelled” by society and set out his plans for his new show.
He said: “In a democracy you should be able to ask and say what you want. If you don’t like the response you don’t throw your toys out of the pram. That’s what I said.
“Listen, I have been cancelled. In this world it seems now that unless you follow a certain path, you are labelled. You have to fight back.”
He said talkRadio and its presenters “wouldn’t be here doing this unless the people out there were watching and listening to this who actually agree and maybe in time they will raise their heads above the parapet”.
Asked what his show would entail, he replied: “Just honesty, debate, whatever, a rollercoaster. At the end of the day whatever you want to talk about.”
Kyle told The Sun newspaper he felt “hunted” and “scapegoated” after the cancellation of his TV show.
He said he was unable to leave the house, and because of how low he was feeling he went to see a doctor who diagnosed him with an anxiety disorder.
He said: “I used to think ‘get a grip’ when some celebrities talked about those sort of problems.
“But suddenly I realised first-hand you can’t always do that. I never thought they would affect me like they did.
“That was a shock — but I’ve always said, ‘If you have a problem, admit it, and then seek the proper help’. So that’s what I did.”
‘A taste of my own medicine’
He added: “Critics will say I got a taste of my own medicine but I’d been through a fair amount up until that point — and I guess it all caught up with me at once.”
Kyle said he does not want to sound “woe is me”, acknowledging that what happened was a “terrible tragedy” and “devastating” for Mr Dymond’s friends and family as well as the many people who worked on the show.
“But it did hit me hard. And it’s been awful to feel so scapegoated, and without being able to have my say about the accusations that often seemed to be levelled only at me.
“I’ve felt hunted and made out to be responsible for everything that ever took place around that show. But I was just the face of it.
“A hundred people lost their jobs that day, and I felt truly awful for them too and worried for their futures. But I felt completely alone,” he told The Sun.
A preliminary inquest hearing was told that Mr Dymond died of a morphine overdose and a heart problem at his home in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
He had “failed” a lie detector test for the programme to show whether he had cheated on his ex-fiancee Jane Callaghan, from Gosport.
Following the cancellation of the daytime show, MPs launched an inquiry into reality TV.
Earlier this year, Dame Carolyn McCall, chief executive of ITV, told the BBC’s The Media Show the broadcaster was “looking at” cancelling Kyle’s programme prior to it being pulled from the schedules.