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What makes a good Jeremy Kyle Show episode?

Do you enjoy a controversial DNA test; maybe a guest heading off to rehab; or perhaps an intervention by show therapist Graham?

These were just some of the questions put to University of Sunderland students when the series producer of the popular daytime show held a ‘Jeremy Kyle Workshop’.

Media, journalism, photography and film students got the chance to construct their own episode during an event at the University’s Media Centre.

The visit was part of a series of employer-led workshops held by the University which aims to improve the employment opportunities of students.

John Millership, Series Producer of the Jeremy Kyle Show, said: “This was about breaking down the mechanics and showing the students what really goes into making an episode of Jeremy Kyle.

“The workshop encouraged the students to look into the ingredients needed to make a good programme, to think about the different things which make viewers connect with the show.”

During the day, the students, who were mainly in the second year of their degree, were asked to consider if they would include DNA results in their constructed shows, revealing text messages or video footage, as well as creating an ‘emotional arc’ for the programme.

The event was part of a working relationship between the University of Sunderland and ITV which aims to help media students make the most of career opportunities in their chosen fields.

The Jeremy Kyle Show, which is filmed in MediaCity in Salford, is one of ITV’s longest running daytime programmes. ITV’s Entertainment North division, which also produces programmes like Countdown and You’ve been Framed, is actively working with universities across the North to help boost student employability.

Ryan Prentice, 21, a second year Broadcast Journalism student, said: “This has really given up the opportunity to see how much work goes into making just one programme in the series.

“It’s been eye-opening to take part in this and get a taste of what we could look forward to in a future career.”

Jeremy Kyle even sent a personal video message to the students, encouraging them to get involved.

Alicia Todd, 20, a second year Media, Culture and Communication student at the University of Sunderland, said: “This has been a real incentive for me as I would like to work for ITV when I graduate.

“It was interesting to hear what life was really like behind the scenes and to see how they researched each individual person.

“I suppose some viewers might think they just pick them off the street, but obviously it’s very different from that.”

The University’s Media Centre has also welcomed other broadcast outlets during their summer workshops, including BBC Newcastle.

The Jeremy Kyle Show, which has been running on ITV since July 2005, also features psychotherapist Graham Stanier, who assists guests further after they are on air. Cardboard cut-outs of both Jeremy and Graham were on hand to inspire the students during the workshop.

Lee Hall, Head of School of Media and Communications at the University of Sunderland, said: “We’re piloting a university scheme to deliver employer-led summer schools for current students and we couldn’t have asked for better partners than ITV and BBC Newcastle.

“The Jeremy Kyle show team were in Sunderland to spot talent and give our students behind-the-scenes insight into how one of television’s most contentious and compelling programmes is put together. It has been absolutely fascinating, and it was great to hear one of the production team is a Sunderland graduate.

“The message from the team to our students is simple: have fun, work hard and aim high. And we couldn’t agree with that more.

“The experience with BBC Newcastle staff was also incredibly rewarding for our students. They were put in the hot-seat of a news team covering a huge breaking story and once again proved they have what it takes to work for one of the world’s iconic media companies. I’m very proud of the way a group of committed students have embraced this opportunity.”

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