Jeremy Kyle guest almost to driven to suicide says it 'shouldn't have taken someone to die' for 'exploitative' show to be axed

A GULF War veteran driven to the brink of suicide after appearing on The Jeremy Kyle Show says he is "over the moon" the programme has now been axed.

Fergus Kenny, 49, was left so distraught after his appearance on the show in 2016 that he considered taking his own life.

The decorated war hero agreed to go on the ITV programme after the producers told him he would be reunited with his estranged daughter.

But he said he felt "set up" after loudmouth host Kyle branded him "a disgrace" in front of a booing TV audience.

Today it was announced The Jeremy Kyle Show is permanently cancelled following the suicide of Steven Dymond – a case which Prime Minister Theresa May called "deeply concerning".

  • The Jeremy Kyle Show is axed by ITV after 14 years
  • Scrapped permanently after guest Steve Dymond died from an overdose
  • His son Carl said he was left distraught after Kyle "ripped into him"
  • Other guests revealed how the show had "ruined" their lives
  • Leaked email revealed ITV bosses had wanted to "protect" the show
  • Theresa May described crisis as "deeply concerning"


Fergus, of Coalville, Leics., says he is delighted at the news but still angry that it took such a tragedy for the programme to be scrapped.Speaking to Sun Online exclusively, he said: "I'm over the moon that is has been cancelled but it's extremely sad it has taken somebody to die for them to do anything about it.

"I can't believe they have been allowed to get away with it for all these years.

"It does feel like a victory. However I'm still angry as it should not take a suicide for producers to realise that the programme was corrupt and exploitative.

"I am proud I spoke out as there could be other people in very dark places as a result of similar experiences.

"I'm just glad that show is now off air to prevent another tragedy taking place in future.

"They deliberately encouraged conflict for entertainment purposes using some of the most vulnerable in society. It was just wrong."
Kenny served in numerous conflicts including the Gulf War, Bosnia and Iraq, and suffers from PTSD.

But he said appearing on The Jeremy Kyle Show was what drove him to almost take his own life.


The dad, who volunteers for a military charity, said: "If it hadn’t been for my kids I would have killed myself. It was that bad.

"I had been led to believe by the producers that it was going to be a reunion show with my daughter but it turned into a kangaroo court.

"I felt like I was having my whole character assassinated and was being made to look like a scumbag. It was a set up.

"After the show ended I felt extremely low. I didn’t know at the time but I was actually suffering from PTSD from my time in the military.

"If I had known then what I know now I would never have agreed to go on the show."

On the show, Fergus met up with his daughter Hayleigh after years apart as he pursued his military career.

But Kyle launched into him, demanding: "Why didn’t you see your kid? Why didn’t you cry yourself to sleep every night?

"Look at your daughter, you have failed her. You don’t deserve you daughter, pal."


Fergus said: "I didn’t realise what was going on with the show. It was supposed to be a family reunion.

"Jeremy Kyle absolutely ripped me apart. He said ‘you cannot use the Army as an excuse’.

"He did not even consider I might have mental health issues, he just tried to get me into a fight.

"When the show was over I was promised after care but I got nothing.

"I was just put in a room with my daughter and we managed to fix things.

"After the show I just wanted the ground to swallow me up. If it wasn’t for my kids I would have ended it.

Fergus isn't the only former guest on the show to welcome its cancellation.


Bob Downes, the cross-dressing dad of missing Blackpool schoolgirl Charlene Downes, said his appearance on the show last November pushed him to the edge.

He said: "It broke me – to have my relationship and my deepest personal issues aired live on TV like that. I just was not prepared for it or for how it would be received by the public, by people who knew me.

"Afterwards I was abused, and other offensive things. I was spat at in the street and I had pints thrown over me in pubs.

"I felt like I couldn’t leave the house. I was totally humiliated.

"I feel it’s a good thing that the show has been cancelled. It’s not before time. People are not aware of the lasting damage it can do."

On Monday, an episode of The Jeremy Kyle Show was pulled off air when news broke of Steven Dymond's suicide just ten days after appearing on the show.

Steve's son Carl Woolley said his dad was "distraught" after the recording, and he Steve had previously posted on Facebook about depression and publicly declared his love for his fiancee, Jane Callaghan.

He sent Jane a heartbreaking final text before he died which said: "I just wanted to say sorry before I go".

ITV permanently scrapped the programme this morning, which ran 3,320 episodes over 14 years, after uproar from Mr Dymond’s loved ones and horrified viewers.


EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM,, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together,
  • Mind,, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus,, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans,, 116 123

Carolyn McCall, ITV’s CEO, announced today: "Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of The Jeremy Kyle Show.

"The Jeremy Kyle Show has had a loyal audience and has been made by a dedicated production team for 14 years, but now is the right time for the show to end.

"Everyone at ITV's thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Steve Dymond."

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