‘Did you sleep with the milkman?’…TV censor puts the kibosh on Jeremy Kyle’s daytime chat show from poking around in people’s sex lives

Posted: 24 August, 2016 in Ofcom TV Censor
Tags: , ,
Read more Ofcom Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

jeremy kyle show The Jeremy Kyle Show ITV
27 March 2016, 11:25

The Jeremy Kyle Show is a popular daytime talk show broadcast on ITV, hosted by Jeremy Kyle, in which members of the public discuss relationship problems in a frank and often confrontational manner in front of a studio audience.

Ofcom was alerted by a complainant to an episode, broadcast on Easter Sunday1 morning, which, in the complainant’s view, featured inappropriate content for broadcast at that time.

The 60-minute episode included three separate items. The first item lasted for approximately the first 36 minutes of the programme, and centred on an individual called Sarah, her ex-friend, Kat, and Sarah’s partner, Carlos. The item also focused on the paternity of Kat’s baby and revealed the results of DNA tests involving three men (Carlos, Kat’s ex-partner David, and Luke, another man with whom Kat had had sex) one of whom might be the father of Kat’s child.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 of the Code:

Children must … be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of rule 13

In our view, taken as a whole, the cumulative effect of: various sexual themes; examples of violent confrontations between contributors; and the significant number of examples of the sound being dipped to mask offensive language, produced content that was unsuitable for children. We have set out our reasons for this view below.

There were a number of sexual references from the very outset of the programme:

  • the first item was introduced by the following caption: “Did you sleep with my boyfriend and is he your baby’s dad?”;
  • a clip from a previous episode was broadcast in which Jeremy Kyle asked Kat: “Have you had sex with Luke? …Have you had sex with Carlos?…Have you had sex with David?”.
  • Jeremy Kyle was shown asking Sarah if her partner Carlos had had sex with Kat. Sarah said Carlos could not remember and Jeremy Kyle replied: “He can’t remember having sex? How can you not remember?… You can’t remember having sex? [Addressing the audience] Can anybody in this audience, have you ever forgotten about having sex?”; and
  • Sarah referred to Kat smelling of “fish” and “raw sex” and having “a really bad smelly fishy smell”.
  • Sarah described watching Kat having sex, during which the bed made a “creaking noise” (at which point Jeremy Kyle imitated the sound of a creaking bed), and Sarah said she had heard “orgasm noises”. At this point Jeremy Kyle asked one of the programme’s security guards “do you know your average orgasm noise for a woman? I’ve got to ask you this, they’ll probably cut it out, have you got an orgasm face?”.

We acknowledged ITV’s argument that “the discussion of sexual matters in the editorial context of the attempted resolution of relationship issues is a very regular feature of the show”. However, we did not agree with the Licensee that the sexual references were “in no way a detailed or explicit description of sexual behaviour”. In our view, at various times the language and actions used by Jeremy Kyle and his guests gave a level of detail descriptive of sexual behaviour which would be unsuitable for children. We did not consider that the use of humour by Jeremy Kyle would have materially lessened the unsuitability of the sexual references to any children in the audience. Rather, at times we considered Jeremy Kyle underlined the detail in the discussion of sexual themes, for example, by imitating the creaking noises of a bed when referring to a couple having sex, and also asking one of the programme’s security guards whether he knew the “average orgasm noise for a woman” and whether the security guard had “an orgasm face”.

Given all the above we did not agree with ITV’s argument that taken together the sexual references were “suitably limited in terms of explicitness”. We took the view that the cumulative effect of all the above references throughout the episode rendered the material unsuitable for children.

Breach of Rule 1.3

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s