Media watchdog Ofcom proposes new rules to protect and properly care for reality TV stars

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MEDIA watchdog Ofcom is proposing new safeguards to protect TV reality stars.

The rules state that “due care must be taken over the welfare, well-being and dignity of participants in programmes”.

Rex Features

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has proposed new rules to protect and care for reality TV show participants[/caption]

Rex Features

It comes after the deaths of former Love Island contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis[/caption]

It will also warn telly bosses that “participants must not be caused unjustified distress or anxiety by taking part in programmes”.

It follows the deaths of former Love Island contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis and a suicide which led to the Jeremy Kyle show being cancelled by ITV.

Ofcom also cited the 25,322 complaints it received about Celebrity Big Brother last summer after Roxanne Pallett falsely claimed that housemate Ryan Thomas had assaulted her.

PA:Press Association

Ofcom cited the 25,000 complaints they received when Roxanne Pallett falsely accused Ryan Thomas of assaulting her[/caption]

Tony Close, Ofcom’s director of content standards, said: “People who take part in TV and radio shows must be properly looked after by broadcasters, and these rules would ensure that happens.

“These new safeguards must be effective. So we’re listening carefully to programme participants, broadcasters, producers and psychologists before we finalise them.”


Appearing on Celebrity Big Brother, Ryan was thought to have become ill with stress[/caption]

The watchdog’s guidance could include what broadcasters should do to provide care before, during and after production.

It would also consider editorial techniques involving participants, such as the use of lie detectors.

Ofcom said the proposed changes are a result of developing cultural change about awareness and destigmatisation of mental health.


Earlier this year, Jeremy Kyle was axed after the death of participant Steve Dymond[/caption]

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