OFCOM is drafting new rules to protect vulnerable TV stars after Jeremy Kyle and Love Island tragedies.
The watchdog released a new report yesterday calling for broadcasters to up the safeguarding of their reality stars.
The report calls on the public to have “informed consent” when being filmed – and that any participants are “warned about potential harms or negative impacts” before taking part in a show.
It adds: “Ofcom has seen a steady rise in complaints expressing concern about the welfare and well-being of people who take part in programmes.”
The 27-page report was published yesterday after Ofcom consulted with former programme participants, psychiatrists, broadcasters, and academics.
A final decision on whether suggestions in the report will go ahead is expected in the summer.
Broadcasters, particularly ITV, have faced increasing pressure to boost their safeguarding of reality show contestants following three tragic suicides.
Love Island’s Sophie Gradon took her own life in June 2018 after finding fame on the 2016 series of the reality show.
Mike Thalassitis appeared in the 2017 series of the show, and took his own life in March of last year.
Another tragic suicide is that of Steve Dymond, who died after appearing on The Jeremy Kyle Show.
Love Island presenter Caroline Flack also took her own life in February of this year, with ITV once again coming under scrutiny as Amanda Holden accused them of “throwing her to the dogs” when she was forced to step down as host after being charged with assault.
ITV adamantly denied the claims, saying in a statement that they were in constant contact with Caroline “offering assistance and support” following the charges, which she pleaded not guilty to.
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 16123