A popular television show in the UK has been suspended indefinitely following the death of a guest who failed a lie detector while filming an episode of the show.
Mr Dymond, 62, died less than a week after failing a lie detector test while filming an episode of the controversial ITV daytime chat show, which he had gone on with his on-and-off girlfriend Jane Callaghan, reports Mailonline.
He had appeared on the show on May 2 before his body was found at a block of flats in Portsmouth on May 9, although South Central Ambulance officials said he had been dead ‘for a number of days’.
It comes as calls grow for show to be axed, with MP Charles Walker MP saying it would be ‘extremely sensible’ if ITV said ‘this has gone far enough’, adding that it was ‘a watershed moment’.
This afternoon, a Downing Street spokesman called Mr Dymond’s death ‘deeply concerning’ and said that ‘broadcasters and production companies have a responsibility for the mental health and wellbeing of participants’.
Meanwhile it has also emerged that there was a warrant out for Mr Dymond after he failed to appear in court in February over more than £4,300 in fines dating back to 1997.
And a leaked email revealed ITV’s chief executive Carolyn McCall had told staff the suspension of the programme was not ‘a reflection of the show’ but to guard against the ‘reaction we expect to this death’.
The daytime show, due to air this week, was pulled from the TV schedules after Mr Dymond was found dead in his bedroom in Portsmouth last Thursday.
In a dramatic move, ITV halted the scheduled broadcast, suspended filming of the show and removed all past episodes from its website. Now, the email has caused outrage online, with some on Twitter accusing ITV of ‘taking the moral low ground’.
Writing in the email, seen by Buzzfeed, Ms McCall said: ‘Some of you may have seen coverage today of the very sad news of the death of one of the participants on The Jeremy Kyle Show.
‘We have all been shocked and saddened at this news and have taken the decision to suspend both filming and broadcasting of the show.
‘This was a very difficult decision to make but we felt that it would be inappropriate to continue to broadcast the show when a participant on it has so recently died
‘This decision is not in any way a reflection on the show, but the best way we can protect the show and the production team from the reaction we expect to this death.’
She added that everyone involved in the show was ‘shocked and saddened’ by Mr Dymond’s death and that the episode would undergo a review that would be completed ‘as soon as we can’.
Ms McCall added counsellors and support teams would be available to anyone who needed them.
A South Central Ambulance Service spokesman said today: ‘We received a 999 call at 13:11 on May 9, with the caller reporting that a man had been found deceased in a property in Portsmouth.
‘We sent an ambulance and a paramedic team leader in a rapid response vehicle to the scene. They reported back that the patient had been deceased for a number of days and informed Hampshire Police, as is normal procedure in an unexpected death. Once the police had arrived, our staff left the premises.’
Mr Dymond is said to have been left devastated and suicidal after being confronted in the TV studio at MediaCity in Salford about allegations of infidelity.
Miss Callaghan said Mr Dymond was determined to go in front of the cameras despite health fears and had a doctor’s letter confirming he was OK to appear.
He had been diagnosed with depression for the first time in February – the same month when he was due to attend Southampton Magistrates’ Court – when their relationship broke down, and was prescribed anti-depressants, Miss Callaghan said.
On March 17, he shared a Facebook post from Mental Health Prime saying: ‘So many suffer alone. Let’s send love today to every person who is battling depression.’
But she claimed a doctor later said he looked ‘fine and happy’ despite him not taking any of the tablets, and he was provided with the letter which gave him the all-clear.
Mr Dymond, who was living in Portsmouth and had just heard he was a grandfather, called friends in tears after filming the show, which had been due to air yesterday.
In a dramatic move, ITV halted the scheduled broadcast, suspended filming of the show and removed all past episodes from its catch-up website.
MPs called for the show, on air since 2005, to be scrapped because it exploited vulnerable people.
Ian Hamilton, a mental health expert based at the University of York, told MailOnline: ‘Unfortunately this situation demonstrates how difficult it can be to assess someone with depression, the nature of the condition is that the way you feel and think can fluctuate.
‘So it is possible that at the time Steven Dymond was assessed he was feeling alright and appeared to be thinking clearly, however this can change quickly particularly given the stressful situation he found himself in.
‘It is also difficult for someone with depression to recognise any warning signs about their low mood and how they will react to stress.
‘Steven had only recently been diagnosed with depression so is likely to have still been learning about what he could cope with and what he might find difficult.’
And Allan Young, a professor of psychiatry at King’s College London, told MailOnline: ‘People who’ve had clinical depression have suffered from a serious medical disorder and very often remain vulnerable thereafter.
‘I think anyone that deals with them, whether it be a private individual, a television company or an any other organisation has a duty of care to that individual to take that into account.
‘It’s a little bit akin to if someone’s had a broken leg and the bones have knitted but the muscles and so on haven’t fully recovered: they wouldn’t then be encouraged to run a marathon.
‘I think there’s a general ignorance about the realities of mental health. But these are not uncommon disorders. The TV companies that are running a reality show should be thinking about the mental health everyone involved.
‘Our resilience to stress is markedly reduced after a period of depression. There is an important duty of care involved. Getting a doctor’s letter to say it’s OK may not be enough – we should consider all of the potential consequences.’