ITV boss says The Jeremy Kyle Show wouldn’t get commissioned in the present day

Kevin Lygo believes Love Island isn't "the same" as "anachronistic" axed talk show

An ITV chief has admitted he wouldn’t commission The Jeremy Kyle Show in the present day – and dismissed comparisons to Love Island.


The Jeremy Kyle Show’s fourteen-year run came to a shock end in May following the death of a participant.

While the morning talk format consistently courted controversy, it maintained a loyal following. Many fans were furious it was axed, while Love Island continues despite two former contestants passing away.

However, speaking at last week’s Edinburgh International Television Festival, ITV’s director of programming Kevin Lygo suggested there’s a clear difference.

Lygo claimed that, while programmes as “combative” as The Jeremy Kyle Show once had a place on television, they wouldn’t make it on air in the modern era.

“You think, would we start a show like this today? You’d say no,” he said (quotes via The Guardian).

“It was fine in the past but today you wouldn’t have something that was a conflict resolution show that was so combative and – at times – aggressive.


“What worked for over a decade suddenly looked a bit anachronistic.”

Despite The Jeremy Kyle Show’s cancellation, Lygo says it “wouldn’t have occurred” to him to drop Love Island.

He insisted there isn’t a direct link between the ITV2 dating contest and the deaths of Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassistis, which both occurred some time after their appearances.

“I don’t think Love Island and Jeremy Kyle are the same in any way,” he commented (quotes via The Mirror).

“The awful tragedies of people dying, this was two years after they appeared on the show more or less and did other shows.

“I don’t feel there is a direct connection enough to cancel Love Island because someone on it has gone through a tragic experience.”

Lygo acknowledged ITV’s responsibility for looking after islanders, but added: “It’s a very knowing crowd that go into Love Island.


“People are going in because they have seen it and want to be part of that.”

Elsewhere, Lygo reiterated that Kyle will remain a prominent face on ITV. His investigative series The Kyle Files is returning in 2020, and he is also piloting a new format.

Bosses are still considering how to fill the now-vacant 9.25am slot. One option is extending Good Morning Britain or This Morning, although ideas for new shows are also in development.


The government inquiry in to duty of care for reality television participants is ongoing.

Meanwhile, ITV is doubling up on Love Island after the latest run attracted record viewing figures. Two series will air per year from 2020, beginning with a winter edition in January.