Jeremy Kyle brought his successful daytime talk show from the United Kingdom here to the United States. Jeremy jumped across the pond to test out his show here last year. His show has been so successful that he will be returning for a second season here starting on September 2012. There is a strong competition in the talk show industry and Jeremy is excited to come back for another season. I had the chance to talk with Jeremy about his show, the transition from the U.K. to America, the differences between the countries, and much more. It was nice for me to turn the tables and interview a talk show host. I have to say he did a great job of being a guest instead of being the one asking the questions. For more on his show and where you watch it here in America, check out his website.
AE: So what has it been like with the transition from your hugely popular show in the UK and to here in the states and the differences between the guests?
Jeremy Kyle (JK): I have done a show before, I was on the radio for twelve years and you reach the end of the road on how far you can go. And I was lucky enough to get the show in England. We are in our seventh year. We are approaching two thousand shows. The show is massively popular and successful. It is Britain’s number one day time show. It has been for a long, long time there. Someone told me over there that we are on twenty seven times a week. They are already playing the American shows there. But it is pretty mad over there. But I think for me it was always that desire to come and test out the show. My hero was Phil Donahue and I wanted to come here. It sounds really crass when I say this to people, but I have been in England for so long and it has worked so well and you come here and you are the new boy on the block.
There is five million other talk shows and it’s just been a really, really interesting good challenge. We started last July. We premiered last September. We got recommissioned within a couple months which is fantastic and we are back for season two. And it is a different market but the one thing you got to say is as polite as possible, the problems transcend geography. It doesn’t matter what side of the pond you are on there are people with messed up lives.
AE: What is the major difference do you see from the guests in America over here than the U.K.?
JK: The Americans are slightly more expressive to be honest. I found myself in England, not recently, but in the first year or so go it’s a talk show mate, talk! There is one thing I must tell you about Americans. I haven’t had an American man on The Jeremy Kyle Show in the past six months that has not passed the lie detector. There are all full of it. They must be more honest than the English. Same stories, yes. Different environment, different people, more expressive. The crossover has been really interesting. You have the whole thing about trying to understand the language. I was doing Wendy Williams this morning and a guy said to me. He said, “Yo dude I’m going down to the club to have a pop.” And I’m like what the hell is a pop. I must be some dumb Englishman.
It’s been a great, great experience. I’m a big fan of the country. I am having a great time in New York. We have traveled around so. It’s been a real buzz, I have to say my friend.
AE: Have you slipped and called people over here British slang terms during a show?
JK: This is where I get serious. I respect the fact that people come on the show. I know what it is. It is a television show. There is a line between entertainment and counseling, hopefully we find that. I’m not sure we give enough credit to people who come on the show. At the end of the day the world is full of labels. I’ll give you an idea, my mother is eighty and said to me, “How are the contestants on the show?” I told her, No love they are not contestants, they are called contributors in England.
The first three years of doing the show in England, people from the middle class would come up to me and ask, “Do these people really exist?” I have a theory because in England, people are based entirely on class. It is about money. So in England you have the working classes, the middle classes, and the upper classes. The upper classes in England love to watch it because they come out and say, “Good Lord, I didn’t know people like this were around.” The middle classes are the ones who criticizes the whole time, do you know why?
JK: Cuz they are about an inch away from being as messed up as the people on the show. That’s the point.
AE: You said your hero was Phil Donahue. Were there any other hosts that you looked up to? When I checked out your show I liked the fact that you are not afraid to go off on the people on your show. Some talk show hosts don’t give their thoughts to the guests.
JK: That might be the British trait in me. I may be a bit weird. I never watched talk. I never sort of thought if I could do that I would do that. I watched a bit of Donahue when I was a lot younger then didn’t watch any of it. What I liked about Donahue was, and what I try to do myself, but I think an audience would watch you if they know that you are delivering the truth as you see it. Not saying something because you want a reaction. Not saying something because someone put you up to it. Not staged. And even if they were standing in front of you and spend a lifetime disagreeing. If they think it’s passionate and the truth it’s you being honest then that’s OK. I get fifteen, twenty minutes with somebody. At the end of the day the only reason I will give them my opinion is that they damn well asked for it.
We don’t mess around. You are here for a reason. You are gonna get the truth. If you don’t like it then you are free to go and that’s it.
So as you can see, Jeremy does not like to pull any punches and his guests will always get his opinion on the matter. He won’t stop surprising you. Jeremy even got me. It seems he did some research on me before we sat down to talk. Back when I was in radio, my DJ name was Arty Scorsese that was given to me by the host of the morning show. Jeremy asked me if I was related to the Martin Scorsese. Jeremy caught me off guard and we joked about our different stints in radio. All in all we had a fun chat and if you enjoy daytime talk shows, make sure you watch The Jeremy Kyle Show. For more of the interview you can check the rest at the Simply Syndicated website.