Published On: Wed, Sep 4th, 2019

MPs to hear from Love Island contestants over reality shows’ duty of care | UK News

MPs investigating the effects of reality TV on participants will hear evidence from three former Love Island contestants today.

Chris Williamson, Marcel Somerville and Yewande Biala will appear before the digital, culture, media and sport committee as it discusses “representations of race, gender and body image and contestant preparedness for life after Love Island”.

The level of support and aftercare offered to those on the show has been under scrutiny since the deaths of former contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.

Mike Thalassitis
Mike Thalassitis died in March 2019

Ms Gradon took her own life in June 2018. An inquest found she had hanged herself after drinking alcohol and taking cocaine.

The body of Mr Thalassitis was found in a park in Enfield, north London, in March this year, after police were called to reports of a man found hanged. A coroner subsequently ruled the death was suicide.

MPs will also hear from a former guests on The Jeremy Kyle Show, which was cut by ITV in May following the death of participant Steve Dymond.

Steve Dymond - Jeremy Kyle
Steve Dymond had failed a lie detector test on the Jeremy Kyle Show

Mr Dymond, 63, died around a week after reportedly failing a lie detector test on the programme.

The construction worker was found in his room in Portsmouth on 9 May after splitting from on-off fiancee Jane Callaghan.

The committee will hear from former Jeremy Kyle Show guests Dwayne Davison and Robert Gregory.

In the past they have claimed, according to MPs, that “the aftercare given to them was not robust and has had a serious negative impact on their lives”.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.

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