Series / The Jeremy Kyle Show

Of course, it's not really fair to call [The Jeremy Kyle Show] a show, because it's more a distinguished public forum for civilized debate. Sorry, did I say civilized debate? Because what I actually meant to say was: It's a non-stop bellowing festival, in which a cast of people who resemble a sort of aquatic livestock chart the outer limits of incomprehension.

The Jeremy Kyle Show is a long-running British talk show which is aired weekdays on ITV in the U.K.

Hosted by former radio host Jeremy Kyle, the show began in 2005 and deals with current hot-button issues, including DNA tests, affairs, alcohol/drug use, dysfunctional families, abuse and more. Jeremy also uses a lie detector in cases involving accusations between guests involved in infidelity, familial disputes or thefts. There have also been numerous special episodes that deal with unique cases like physical/mental illnesses, prostitution and celebrities.

The main aspect that separates the show from American tabloid talk shows like Maury and Jerry Springer is that Kyle is a much more hands-on host, who won't hesitate to call out guests for being duplicitous or criticize both of the main parties. He typically straight up tells his guests to get themselves together instead of goading them into getting more dramatic (as is more typical for talk show hosts) . He also gets very personally involved in the guests' problems, using Brutal Honesty or sitting in front of them to deliver advice.

In 2011, a Transatlantic Equivalent began airing on The CW and FOX affiliates in the States. It lasted two seasons before being cancelled in 2013.

The show features examples of the following tropes:

  • A Father To His Guests: Jeremy can be very paternal to guests, usually the younger struggling couples or parents.
  • Argument of Contradictions: A staple of most episodes. Unlike other shows, however, Jeremy usually calls them out on this and ruthlessly mocks them, or criticize everyone if he finds that they're both lying to each other.
  • The Atoner: Jeremy is this, since he lost his first marriage to a gambling addiction but changed his ways. However, this does often invoke a case of No True Scotsman when he tries to take the higher ground and makes a Badass Boast over someone suffering through the throes of the same or a similar addiction.
  • Badass Boast: Usually occurs once per episode.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Jeremy can lose his temper with the drop of a hat, hating lazy, ignorant and selfish people, particularly when there are young parents involved. He also despises racism.
    • Perhaps the angriest he ever gets is towards male abusers of women. In some instances, he has gone so far as to instruct Graham to ignore them, deny them aftercare and called one (particularly nasty) individual "scum."
    • An episode in late 2012 had Jeremy leave the stage in complete rage when three guests argue about the life of an unborn child and how its grave was vandalised by them. However, in the lie detector results, it is revealed the child's mother retaliated by posting photos of dead babies online to torment her former, then-pregnant friend. Jeremy ended up sympathising with the mother's supporting friends who are shocked by her actions.
    • Jeremy also once called for an advert break minutes earlier than expected after a guest entered on stage and promptly punched his own mother hard in the face. Jeremy stormed off the stage in utter rage, and the guest can be heard yelling 'Stupid Cunt!' even as the advert break is called in.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Many guests are revealed to be this at times. A major example is a woman named Zara, who claims to be caught in the middle between her estranged husband and her friend. Said husband blames the friend for ruining their marriage while she in turn sees him as a Bastard Boyfriend. It turns out that Zara has been badmouthing one to the other so that their animosity would be focused on each other. All so she can steal said friend's husband.
  • British Teeth:
  • Brutal Honesty: A signature part of most episodes involves Jeremy calling situations like he sees them, and he will not hesitate to lay into guests who lie (even those who initially presented themselves to be the "wronged" party).
  • Catch Phrase: Jeremy has a few.
    • He often has to remind a guest that won't shut up that "it's called The Jeremy Kyle Show".
    • Almost every time before he reveals the result of a Lie Detector or DNA test he says "Well, well, well", this is for the previews of what's happening next before the commercial break.
      • Speaking of Lie Detector tests, whenever a female fails to answer truthfully on a question, he usually states, "Test says you're a liar, Luv."
    • "Put something on the end of it". Used so often it is lampshaded by guests.
    • "I'm going to do something I haven't done in 'X' years." Said regardless of whether he did said thing fairly recently or not.
    • The guests in general are prone to using the phrase "at the end of the day" - parodied here
    • Jeremy will often mention how long he's been running the show for when talking to guests.
    • "When this goes out, no one will touch you with a barge pole!"
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Some guests cause problems when they break up or become estranged.
  • Daddy DNA Test: Interestingly downplayed compared to American tabloid talk shows (like Maury) that use it as a centerpiece. While Jeremy does announce the results, he doesn't draw out the announcement nor does he sympathize with those who defend the partner that refuses to accept that the child is theirs.
  • Doting Parent: Jeremy has hints of this and dishes parental advice out to those who need it.
  • Double Standard: Notably averted. Jeremy will not hesitate to call out people of either gender who are liars, refuse to admit that a child is theirs or fake answers during the lie detector tests.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Invoked by Kyle in an episode dealing with cheaters and DNA tests. The studio audience breaks out laughing after a guest reveals that his girlfriend locked him in a room and made him unable to leave, forcing him to leap off a third-storey window in order to escape. Kyle proceeds to call the audience out on this, pointing out that if the genders were reversed in this situation, the man would be perceived as a monster.
  • Establishing Character Moment: On the very first episode, when a guest went over to attack her sister, Jeremy's reaction? 'Welcome to the show. Do that again and you're off the show.'
  • Evil Is Petty: Some of the actions the guests do to get back at each other are disgustingly low blows.
  • Face/Heel Double-Turn: One notable segment was a follow-up involving a woman named Christina, who came on the show to call out her boyfriend Michael for not doing enough to support the child they had together. Jeremy spends most of the original segment calling out Michael for being a deadbeat father, including yelling in his face and repeatedly insulting him. In a follow-up, Christina comes on the show to "prove" that Michael is the father with a DNA test. However, as soon as she begins speaking, Jeremy's expressions become confused, and he asks her why she's coming on if she already knows that Michael is the father. Christina says she doesn't want him to be the father because he doesn't do enough to support their son, and jokingly admits that she saw a picture of an ex-boyfriend two months before the segment who looked like her child. Jeremy immediately realizes that he was in the wrong for yelling at Michael in the past, and proceeds to lay a protracted verbal smackdown on Christina for lying to both Michael and him. He also realizes that she likely knew Michael wasn't the father in her original appearance, and points out a moment where she smiled while talking about how useless Michael is.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Jeremy Himself.
  • Guilty Pleasure: Between the deer-in-the-headlights reactions from guests, Jeremy calling people out for being liars and the matter-of-fact nature of the segments, it is eminently watchable television.
  • "It" Is Dehumanising: Jeremy often calls wife-beaters "that" instead of any gender pronoun. However the only abuser that received sympathy from Jeremy was when the abusers mother contacted Jeremy and told him that her son was haunted by his survivors guilt and didn't receive help for his problems.
  • Jerk Ass: There have been a few on the show, normally lazy, uninterested fathers or unfaithful husbands/boyfriends.
  • Kavorka Man: Many Kavorka Men and Women are the subject of a chewing out from Jeremy for being terrible fathers or mothers.
  • Lie Detector:
    • The second most common problem solver, used to sort out truths for guests who cannot trust each other. Reactions are often saved for advert breaks.
    • It should be noted that Lie Detectors do not actually detect lies, but record stress levels in response to a question. Provided that Jeremy's claim that the Lie Detector is 97% Accurate is true, that means that over thirty upset, emotive or angry guests have been labelled as liars when in fact they did nothing wrong.
    • Deconstructed on a few occasions. Quite a few results were inconclusive for a number of reasons including fidgeting too much during the test or being drunk during the test. Kyle tears these guests apart as a result (those tests are not free nor cheap).
  • Lower-Class Lout: Many of the guests are this, usually unemployed.
  • No Indoor Voice: Most guests and Jeremy spend their time arguing and it can turn into a contest of who can shout the loudest.
  • Papa Wolf: Jeremy can get very angry when it comes to the guests who let their actions endanger or neglect the lives of children. Fitting because Jeremy is a father himself.
  • Point-and-Laugh Show:
    • A large slice of its viewing demographic is inclined to treat the show as this. Others might shake their heads in disbelief and see it as a Point-And-Weep Show. Maybe encouraging people in the affluent AB demographic to see it as a freak show, parading egregious members of the underclass for the entertainment of their social betters, gets the big-money advertising in. It is certainly repeated later in the day on other ITV channels, and it is noticeable how the quality and type of the adverts is completely different - more upmarket products aimed at affluent people.
    • Jeremy lampshaded the audience's laugh-and-point reaction once when a guy who is in an abusive relationship admitted he had to jump out a three story window to escape a locked apartment. Jeremy proceeded to chew them out.
  • Recurring Character: Many of the mouthy guests often return for more drama in their lives. If it was a guest that had an unpleasant experience on their previous visit, Jeremy either asks them why they wanted to return or tells them to never come back.
  • The Stoic: Graham Stainer has yet to lose his temper on the show.
    • Averted in March 2013 where Graham expresses Tranquil Fury when a previous guest opted to take Graham's rehabilitation program, only to immediately start taking drugs again after the ones in his body were flushed out.
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: His American show. Also Maury, for all intents and purposes.
  • Tranquil Fury: Jeremy Kyle himself expressed this in a rare occasion when a male domestic abuse sufferer was talking about the horrific injuries he suffered while trying to escape from his abusive partner. When he stated that he had to jump from a third-storey window and suffer multiple fractures on the ground, Jeremy's audience (which was made up almost completely by women for that specific episode) proceeded to laugh and belittle him for several seconds. Jeremy proceeded to unleash a long speech where he chewed them out. To make matters worse, the audience then went deathly quiet, probably assuming the "If I am quiet, I can put the blame on someone else" fallacy.
  • The Unfair Sex:
  • Use Your Head: The show's most controversial occurence happened when a man headbutted another man on stage. Something which the censors weren't prepared for. Topped when a man punched his own mother in the face.
  • Very Special Episode: The show has had several special dealing with the consequences of prostitution, confronting murderers and pedophiles, disabled children, and a rather heated episode with the Westboro Baptist Church.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: Jeremy hates abusers of women. His first comment when they enter is usually along the lines of "why are wife-beaters always scrawny bastards who can't hit a real man."