TV & Movies

Jeremy Kyle’s life from relationship with nanny to gambling addiction

The Jeremy Kyle Show was a mainstay of daytime television from the mid-noughties, receiving criticism from viewers while at the same time drawing in millions in ratings.

This week marks two years since ITV cancelled the series, following the suspected suicide of one of the show's guests, Steve Dymond.

Its host, Jeremy Kyle, 55, has kept a low profile since the show's cancellation, and he has been declared an "interested party" at Dymond's inquest, which is due to take place in July.

Marking the anniversary, Daily Star has looked at the life of the presenter, who started out life working in a supermarket, only to become one of the UK's most divisive presenters.

We've explored everything from his upbringing in Reading, to his family life, looking at the man behind one of ITV's most controversial shows of all time.

Childhood

Jeremy grew up in Reading, where he said his parents sacrificed everything to ensure he had a solid education, giving him a start in life.

His dad shared a link with the Royal family, working as the accountant and personal secretary to the Queen Mother for 40 years.

"My dad epitomises everything I'd like my kids to say about me," Jeremy told The Scotsman in 2009.

"He gave his kids the best start and he had values. He would open the door for a lady … It's about having your kids and investing in your kids with time, really. They set your moral compass."

Remembering his parents' happy marriage, Jeremy revealed his mother would meet his father from the train every day when his carriage arrived after work.

He had one older brother, Nick Kyle, who Jeremy recalled being "just great" throughout their childhood, adding: " If he walked into a party he'd pull the best-looking girl. He was my hero."

Jobs before he was famous

Jezza's first job was working in a brand of Marks and Spencer – something he once described as the "worst job" he'd ever done.

In the mid-80s, after graduating with a degree in history and sociology, he got a job as a life insurance salesman.

He later moved into recruitment, before trying his hand selling advertising space, eventually working with advertisers in the radio industry.

At that point, he was offered the chance to work on the radio himself – a proposal that kickstarted his career as a presenter.

"I didn't know what I wanted to do until I was 40," he told The Scotsman, adding: "Seriously."

Jeremy hosted the late-night show Confessions on Capital Radio, fielding live calls on relationship issues of all kinds.

The series was a hit, and he took the format and eventually launched a radio show named The Jeremy Kyle Show, which inspired the TV series of the same name.

Gambling addiction

In his 20s, Jeremy found himself betting every day, hurtling towards a gambling addiction as his first marriage was "crumbling" around him.

The turning point came when he found himself £12,000 in debt and realised he needed to give up gambling.

"Gambling is the mistress that truly seduced me," he admitted in his autobiography I'm Only Being Honest, which was released in 2009.

"I'll never understand what a hit of heroin feels like, but gambling I get. Big time.

"Plenty of days I remember taking money out of the cashpoint and going to the bookies, then losing and going again to the cashpoint – and back again and again."

Thankfully, Jeremy managed to overcome the financially crippling habit and now has a healthy relationship with betting, freed from the compulsion of his 20s.

Cancer battle

Nine years ago, Jeremy Kyle was diagnosed with testicular cancer, pausing filming of his show while he underwent chemotherapy and surgery.

"It was late 2012 and I'd just come back from a trip to America when I first knew there was something not quite right," he wrote in a 2018 article for The Sun.

"It wasn't a lump, it wasn't even really a pain, it was just a feeling, a sensation, and it was on my mind for a couple of weeks, maybe a few months. I put it to the back of my mind and got on with my life."

He eventually decided to go to the doctor, with the GP transferring him to a specialist, who quickly diagnosed him with the disease.

Jeremy went on: "I was raced away for a biopsy, they did a full-body scan and within 12 hours I was in surgery. When they took the testicle out it was 90 per cent toxic."

Thankfully, the surgery managed to free his body of the disease, with Jeremy later campaigning for Movember and urging men to regularly check their testicles.

Love Life

Jeremy has been married three times – his first marriage, to ex-wife Kirsty Rowley, ended in 1990 while he was in the midst of his gambling addiction.

The couple share one child together – Harriet – who has since grown up to have a daughter of her own.

His second marriage, to wife Carla Germaine, got off to an unconventional start, with the couple meeting when she took part in a blind date wedding competition named Two Strangers And A Wedding.

Carla was married off to sales manager Greg Cordell live on-air, with the newlyweds winning a honeymoon in Barbados and a fancy apartment.

Unfortunately, their marriage fell apart after three months, but a new romance began to blossom between Carla and Kyle.

The sweethearts tied the knot in 2003 and went on to welcome three children together, living in their family home in Berkshire.

Praising their marriage in his autobiography, Jeremy said: "In Carla, I have a wife in whom I can confide about anything. The minute I have a problem, I go to her. The minute I have made a mistake, I know I can go to her."

The couple announced they were separating in 2015 and went on to confirm their divorce the following year.

Jeremy proposed to his new partner, Vicky Burton, who was his children's nanny, in 2018, getting on bended knee in a romantic Valentine's engagement.

"All I did was get engaged – it's very nice and I'm very happy," he told GMB viewers that year. "I've just done the most romantic thing which is to present a beautiful lady with a ring."

Children

Jeremy has five children – his fiancée, Vicky, welcomed the couple's first child, a baby boy, last year.

Before the tot was born, he told The Sun: "Vick and I couldn't be happier to say we're expecting our first baby together. It's the best possible thing that could have happened."

He has three children with his ex-wife Carla, named Alice, 15, Ava, 13, and 10-year-old Henry.

And, his daughter from his first marriage, Harriet, 28, welcomed her first child, daughter Isla, in 2018, with a spokesperson for the TV star saying at the time: "Jeremy is absolutely ecstatic."

The broadcaster has previously been vocal about his close bond with his kids, revealing his children help to keep him grounded when it comes to his high-profile lifestyle.

"My kids are amazing and they are the ones that keep me going," he previously told The Mirror.

"Kids and work – that's it. I promise you. Literally that. I've thrown myself into work, that has kept me going. I appreciate all the support."

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