Christopher Maloney believes The Jeremy Kyle Show will return to ITV for one final episode – featuring him and Danniella Westbrook .
The reality pair filmed scenes for the now-axed programme earlier this year, and he claims producers have told him there are plans to air it as a “final goodbye” to the show’s one million daily viewers.
“Word on the grapevine is that it could come back as a final show with me and Danniella, sort of like a final goodbye,” he tells Mirror Online.
“I went on to talk about mental health, so this could be a fitting way to end the show. I was talking about being catapulted to fame and all the online trolling and abuse that comes with it.”
The show came under the axe on Wednesday, 48 hours after it was pulled off air so ITV could investigate the death of guest Steve Dymond.
But former X Factor star Chris thinks the show did more good than harm over the years.
“My heart goes out to that poor man and his family,” he says.
“The aftercare for my mum and me was amazing. The show’s been going on for 14 years and there’s never been an issue until now.
“I think it’s great, it really gets the nation talking. The aftercare for us was brilliant, but maybe you need to reach out and ask for it.”
Producers he has spoken to at the show were left “speechless” by the decision to axe it, with nobody seeing it coming.
“They’re all totally shocked, I was talking to people in ITV and everyone seemed to think the show would take a bit of a break then come back in a couple of weeks,” he went on.
“Axeing the whole show means around 100 people are out of a job now, most are freelancers so they’re not on ITV’s payroll. That’s security guards, cameramen, production staff…
“I know how Steve was feeling because I’ve been there. I’ve contemplated suicide too. There’s various factors involved, it’s never just one cause so it’s unfair to blame the show. When I’ve been on it, it’s been great – of course it’s controversial , it’s the highest-rated ITV daytime TV programme with a million viewers.
“I feel for the family, you don’t know the circumstances but there’s a lot going on.”
Chris has a radical theory for Jeremy Kyle’s slot replacement – and it’s none of the ITV talent that have so far been suggested.
“I had a mad dream that Judge Rinder could take over that slot. He’s so lovely, he’s got a really relatable side,” he says.
“It’s going to be really tough now for reality TV, there’s no guidelines about how you offer aftercare, it’s not set in stone.”
His pal Danniella – who counts Jeremy as a close friend, and was put through rehab by the show – now “looks and feels great” – and Chris says she couldn’t have beaten her cocaine addiction without the help of the ITV programme.
“It was the show that did it [got her clean], she’s so thrilled with her progress. That just shows how much positivity The Jeremy Kyle Show spread. I don’t think she’d have gone to rehab without it,” he added.
Mirror Online has contacted ITV for comment.
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