Thursday, April 16, 2015


Jeremy Kyle Jeremy Kyle Jeremy Kyle.

You can't get more than a living room's length from him in fostering.

We've lectured so many of our teenage foster children about the good and bad of the Jeremy Kyle Show.

The fact is it's right up their alley, and actually given that we can sit and watch it with them it's not without its uses.

We were sitting round the TV waiting for the Grand National when we heard "Jeremy Kyle's horse is in the lead..." in the previous race.

Got us laughing about life as a horse in the Kyle house:




Anyway a couple of things. The swine thing about The Jeremy Kyle Show is not that it's compelling, which it can be, for about ten minutes at a time, or that it's largely negative - you don't get many success stories. The rotten thing about it is the scheduling of it. 

We had a teenage girl who didn't want to get up and go to school, no surprise there, but among other objections to school was the fact that she'd miss Jeremy Kyle.

Before she was taken into care she had largely skipped school, and she and her mum and her sister had sat and watched Jeremy Kyle from start to finish every morning, so the programme had comforting memories for her.

She said this:

"It makes us realise we're not that bad"

I asked her if she thought anyone watching ever mended their ways after listening to a dose of Kyle's 'wisdom' about "Sorting yerself out!" and "Being honest fer once in yer life!" and "It's always somebody else's fault ain't it sunshine!"

She said no.

I asked if she thought the show maybe gave people watching a licence to carry on getting things wrong as long as those things weren't quite as wrong as the things on Jeremy Kyle.

She said dunno.

We got around her addiction to JK by banning TV during the day, but taping the show for her. 

Anyway, I've saved the best bit for last.

Recently I got chatting to a cold caller (see earlier posts). Sometimes they enjoy a 5 minute natter with a friendly voice, you have to be careful they don't get into trouble (calls are recorded etc), I'm an expert on the weather and the traffic problems in Mumbai.

I digress. So, this cold caller, it turned out, had previously worked on the Jeremy Kyle Show, finding  problem families and getting them to agree to come on. They don't pay them a fee, you'll be surprised to know.

How do they do it?

Well, this is what he said they did. I don't know if it's true, or if they still do it. It's very clever.

They put small ads in cheap magazines, TV gossip rags and the like.They don't mention Jeremy Kyle. The adverts offer free help with things like obesity, tattoo removal, drugs problems, dental hygiene, relationship councilling, legal matters, and in a sense that's what the Jeremy Kyle Show could argue that it does.

Anyone who phones in for help has probably got a story to tell, a conflict that needs resolving.

The researcher listens sympathetically, and from there it's a short hop to offering them their 15 minutes of fame.

And for the record, I don't like the Grand National much for obvious reasons, but just as with the Jeremy Kyle Show I find myself watching when it's on.


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