Today’s Observer carries a powerful piece by Carole Cadwalladr, who looks at the stomach-turning phenomenon that is the Jeremy Kyle Show on TV. As a court judge said last year:
‘It seems to me that the purpose of this show is to effect a morbid and depressing display of dysfunctional people whose lives are in turmoil. It is for no more and no less than titillating members of the public who have nothing better to do with their mornings than sit and watch this show which is a human form of bear baiting which goes under the guise of entertainment.
It is telling that the practice of letting the public visit the Bethlem Royal Hospital (Bedlam) was apparently ended in 1770 because it "tended to disturb the tranquillity of the patients" by "making sport and diversion of the miserable inhabitants". That practice seems to live on in TV shows today and I can’t feel that society has been enriched or educated as a result.

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