When I'm in a bad mood I love Jeremy Kyle - his upfront, in your face approach to dealing with "guests/victims" on his show makes me feel as if I am saying his words myself: "Scrap the "buts," button ya lug-holes, and let's move on!" However, as soon as I find myself cheering his brashness, I'm just as quickly overcome with a sense of guilt and shame. Sure, the majority of his guests are from the lower socio-economical "class," but they still deserve a little respect. I mean, after all, it's these very people that have lined his pocket for over a decade.
It's not until you delve into the man himself that you truly get a sense of disgust. According to Kirsty Rowley's account of their brief but disastrous marriage, "My husband is a gambler and a fantasist." His wife claims that during their 15 months of marriage, Kyle was a gambling addict who lied, psychologically abused her and buried them in thousands of pounds of debt, before leaving her with their baby daughter."He's a man hailed by critics as a TV God and adored by millions of viewers for giving cheats and liars what for." His past, she says, makes him a hypocrite.
He does seem to possess an innate talent of tearing strips off people, confronting nasty pieces of work - compulsive liars, serial adulterers, addicts, neglectful parents and the like - on behalf of their victims and demands that they face the truth about themselves. It is a little David and Goliath and maybe that's why, sometimes, I watch with interest. However, it also kind of feels like someone merely cashing in on other people's misery and setting standards that he's failed to maintain himself.
Time for the next guest to arrive: Head hung wife walks onto stage. It's been some time since she's ironed her clothes let alone washed her hair. Even on TV, I can smell her depression. She's run down and exhausted. Her husband, unemployed and a drug addict (yet to be denied) enters, claiming his wife is having an affair. "If I find out right, that she's been messin' round, then that's it!" He flares his hands in mid-air - could be to prove he's serious. Could be just a rampant studio fly. Who knows? Who cares? I Don't. I feel united with the audience that mumbles under the breath "Bloody tosser."
Lie detector results back. Suffice to say, the guy's not only paranoid but terribly misguided in thinking his wife couldn't do better without him. The show takes a sudden shift in mood - to one of a public stoning and I've suddenly found myself in the front row. It's revealed, the hubby has "tried to strangle" his wife, constantly berates her and any attempts she makes at her newly found motherhood. We all look to the head-hung-low-wife: "Yes, but I love him."
It's true what they say, you can't help those who won't help themselves - not even the international renown narcissist Jeremy Kyle.