An ITV boss has insisted 'The Jeremy Kyle Show' was "highly regulated".

Jeremy Kyle

Jeremy Kyle

Television executive Dame Carolyn McCall has clashed with MP Julian Knight over the series - which was axed last year after guest Steven Dymond was found dead just days after appearing on the programme - and claimed it was an "outlet" for many people going through issues.

Speaking at the Future of Public Service Broadcasting inquiry - from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee - she said: "It was a highly regulated show, it was a conflict resolution show, it was not to everyone's tastes.

"It may surprise you to know that I actually got hundreds of emails complaining about stopping the show when we stopped it, because they thought it was their own outlet of being able to listen and understand problems that were in their own lives."

However, Julian - the chairman of the committee - blasted ITV, and claimed people were "baited" to appear on the show.

He argued: "They were baited over a long period of time. My jaw is dropping at the lack of contrition here from ITV and from yourself as a chief executive.

"I'm just astounded that you don't accept the premise that this programme itself, although it ran for 15 years and seemingly was highly popular, it involved the psychological, not torture, but the psychological exposure of very vulnerable people to often public.

"People who were out there in the public domain who should have not been in the public domain.

"I'm just surprised you can't see that perhaps that was the wrong step and perhaps ITV should have ended it earlier, and perhaps we shouldn't see its like on TV again."

Dame Carolyn has admitted ITV will not be making a programme like 'The Jeremy Kyle Show' again, but insisted contestants "went through a screening and vetting process".

She added: "I think a lot has changed; I think if you look at the show today you wonder how it could have been on for so long - I agree with you - but a lot has changed in that intervening period.

"I'm proud of a range of things ITV does, I'm proud of ITV. That particular show did polarise opinion, everyone on that show knew what the show was, it was informed consent, it was adults, they went through a screening and vetting process, they went through quite a lot of hoops before they went on that show, but it was conflict resolution - it was not always comfortable to view, yet people viewed it.

"We have said that we will not be doing a show like 'The Jeremy Kyle Show' again, we have been very clear about that, I have been very clear about that."

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