Monday, 17 June, 2019
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Diagnosis DawnussRex is Relegated
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Diagnosis DawnussLisa Leaves the BB confines
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Big Brother 2018 Regular Updates

With the rise of feelgood telly and the fall of the ITV talkshow host, antagonistic entertainment is losing its power

Get off your backside and get a job!” “Can you even spell father?” “Put something on the end of it!” For 14 years, The Jeremy Kyle Show was a hotbed of insults, poverty porn and lie-detector-facilitated humiliation. A dark jewel in ITV’s daytime crown, it was once described by a judge sentencing a former guest as “a form of human bear-baiting”. It was, however, just one wave in the tsunami of mean-spirited TV entertainment to emerge over the past two decades, ranging from the fiscal misery of Benefits Street and The Repo Man, to talent-show contestants milked for cheap laughs, to reported emotional abuse on augmented reality shows.

It is all a far cry from the turn of the millennium when Big Brother was billed as a revolutionary social experiment. Since then, reality TV and factual entertainment has taken on an often nasty and voyeuristic tone. But does the high-profile cancellation of Kyle’s show – following the death of recent guest Steven Dymond and stories of two further participants killing themselves – spell the end of vindictive reality shows? Or are we doomed to see the continuation of what was described by one producer in a recent article for the industry magazine Broadcast as a “wild west of pantomime villains”?

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Media Guardian 06:59
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