Jeremy Kyle guest who died of overdose ‘considered jumping out of taxi on way home from show’

Jeremy Kyle’s show was axed a week after the guest’s death
Jeremy Kyle’s show was axed a week after the guest’s death

A Jeremy Kyle Show guest who died of an overdose after appearing on the programme felt “life was not worth living” and considered jumping out of the taxi on his way home, an inquest has heard.

The body of 63-year-old Steve Dymond was discovered at his Portsmouth home on 9 May 2019, a week after appearing on the now-axed programme to take a lie detector test to prove he had not been cheating on his fiance. He is thought to have taken his own life.

Mr Dymond was reportedly worried about the repercussions of appearing on the programme, with Hampshire Police telling a previous inquest hearing that his death by morphine overdose was a suspected suicide. Hampshire coroner Jason Pegg has previously ruled that Kyle had called Mr Dymond a “serial liar” and said he “would not trust him with a chocolate button”.

Claire Overman, representing Mr Dymond’s brother, Leslie Dymond, and son, Carl Woolley, told the preliminary hearing at Winchester on Monday that Leslie Dymond said that his brother had told him that the audience had “booed and hissed” at him.

He had also been “followed off stage by Mr Kyle and two cameramen, one right next to him when he sat off stage” and had the results of the lie detector test “pushed right in his face”.

Steve Dymond was found dead on 9 May 2019 after appearing on the show where he was called a ‘serial liar’ (Facebook)
Steve Dymond was found dead on 9 May 2019 after appearing on the show where he was called a ‘serial liar’ (Facebook)

Ms Overman said that the brother’s account also suggested that Mr Kyle had called him a “traitor and a failure” but video evidence showed that the host had not said this, but had called him a “serial liar”.

She added that Mr Dymond had told his brother that he was “incredibly stressed”, in tears and on the “point of collapsing”.

She added that his brother also said that Mr Dymond had told him that he was “completely broken” and was “consumed by what happened on the show” and had talked about considering “jumping out of the taxi on the way home”.

Ms Overman said that the brother also said that it was “like he had been brainwashed, he (Steve Dymond) said he was worthless and couldn’t go on living”.

Neil Sheldon KC, representing Mr Kyle, said that it was a “misleading and inaccurate account” based on hearsay and that footage from the show showed the reality of what had happened.

Mr Pegg said that Leslie Dymond had been ruled as medically unfit to attend the full inquest. He said that he would accept his written statement as evidence but then make a decision on its reliability.

The coroner said that the scope of the inquest would cover Mr Dymond’s involvement with the ITV show but also his personal relationships.

He said: “It’s quite relevant there were other things going on in Mr Dymond’s life at the time of his passing.

“He had been on the Jeremy Kyle Show but I intend, and have always intended, that clearly the breakdown of Mr Dymond’s relationship with Jane Callaghan, which appeared to be the catalyst for going on the Jeremy Kyle Show, and interactions with others around him are relevant and fall in the scope of the inquest.”

Kyle was previously named an  interested party at the inquest (PA)
Kyle was previously named an interested party at the inquest (PA)

Mr Pegg said: “This inquest must focus on the death of Steve Dymond, other matters or other systemic issues that may or may not have existed at the time in relation to other production companies or programmes on TV.

“The inquest will focus on the processes in place with regards to his selection, his attendance for filming and the after care in filming, the other systemic issues are not.”

Rachel Spearing, who has been appointed as counsel to the inquest, said that the coroner had ruled that the case would not be “a roving inquiry into practices of reality television”.

She said that the inquest would primarily look at the circumstances of Mr Dymond’s life between March 14 2019, and May 9 2019.

Ms Spearing said: “The scope will review the deceased’s interaction with his GP and his acceptance and participation in the Jeremy Kyle Show.

“We will be reviewing Mr Dymond’s participation in the show as far as it is relevant to his mental state including the lie detector and the after-care provided and that involves the role of the production company and ITV.”

After 14 years on air, The Jeremy Kyle Show was axed a week after Mr Dymond’s death amid growing scrutiny of the duty of care that reality TV shows have to participants.

The coroner previously said Kyle, 56, would be an interested party at the inquest because “he may have caused or contributed” to Mr Dymond’s death. “It might seem ludicrous not to have Mr Kyle to give evidence to give his take on the situation,” Mr Pegg said in 2020.

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Additional reporting by PA