Jeremy Kyle recovering after cancer treatment

Schoolgirl mums, cheating spouses, intolerant neighbours, the morbidly obese, self-harmers, the whole range of dysfunctional Britain take heart; Jeremy Kyle, the man who brings your private woes into the nation’s living-rooms, will soon be back in front of the cameras.

Kyle, the champion of getting everything out in the open, has been battling testicular cancer in secret. Reports say he has responded well to chemotherapy. An ITV statement said, "he has been making good progress. We hope that he is back on his feet soon and look forward to him returning to work when he is ready."

Kyle’s show has come in for considerable criticism for its presenter’s confrontational style and its voyeuristic approach to people’s private lives (although there seems no shortage of people willing to tackle the most harrowing issues in front of the studio audience).

In 2007, Judge Alan Berg described Kyle’s show as "human bear-baiting" and said that its purpose was to present a "morbid and depressing display of dysfunctional people whose lives are in turmoil". Which pretty much sums up its continued appeal.

Kyle has pitched his on-screen persona as a kind of tabloid Jerry Springer without the wit or warmth. His aggressive and hectoring rush to moral judgment chimes closely with the popular Daily Mail world view. He defends his show with easy platitudes. "We've only got one life, it's not a rehearsal," he said, adding that witnessing other people’s misery on a daily basis puts his own troubles into perspective. "I often tell myself that I must never complain again about not getting enough kip, or something minor going wrong," he has said.

Serious illness might be worth a little more scrutiny though. Testicular cancer has been the subject of several increased awareness campaigns to highlight the risks. Perhaps Kyle might consider devoting a programme to the subject. It might prove more useful and edifying than his usual subject matter.

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