Read this: Taking care of reality TV guests
Summary: PodcastDownload MP3 www.bbc.co.ukTaking care of reality TV guests…
BBC sounds music Radio podcasts welcome to the media show we're going to be talking about how much care people in reality and Unscripted television and radio shows should receive before during and after the programmes are on air or before we jump into that to meet his subject.
Let me introduce you to my guests and get a flavour of what they perhaps watch when they switch on the telly box to switch off from their day jobs here in London with me is Jonathan stadlen managing director of Knickerbocker Glory an independent production company Jonathan welcome imagine you'd want to switch off from factual programming escape.
Wouldn't you I try very hard not to watch the type of shows that we make you'll have to do that for work.
So I like escapist television like killing Eve or fleabag and I watch Icarus 2 days ago which I thought was an amazing documentary about doping in Russia Dr penny Brown NHS consultant forensic psychiatry at Kings College London and
A mental Capacity assessor for television Productions have been for 9 years welcome Penny do you get much time to watch television in-between all of that? Thank you know I don't get very much time to watch television.
I think my phone pay British Bake Off if I had a different career then.
I'll be making cakes for a living and that certainly how I wind down so enjoy watching Bake-Off didn't bring us any gifts.
I know I should have done so I made one this morning as well be Reagan used to oversee Big Brother and is a former commissioner for Channel 5 and MTV welcome Stephen what's on your screen when you get some down for what I do like watching this kind of shoes.
I probably made up.
Just finished watching Love Island and I'm currently watching bossy burden on iPlayer very classes as a perfect link to our guest is in our Salford studio, who is Rosie Williams who was a contestant on last year's love Island welcome Rosie what's on your television box when you get the chance and perlina actually real.
TV I quite like documentary type show so of killer women with Piers Morgan and then when I'm watching a box there to sort of big little lies things that I know big little lies 2 and there is an alternative to Piers Morgan in the morning.
I just thought I'd let you know nothing about reality or Unscripted television this after the death of Jeremy Kyle Show guest Steve diamond.
He thought to have taken his own life after taking a lie detector test on the programme The Show has been canceled not before time according to critics who say the Toulon vulnerable people from disadvantaged backgrounds had effectively been put in the stocks to have eggs thrown at them others argue that much of the condemnation is snobbish hypocritical and judgmental about reality TV programmes is a flavour of some of them.
Have you had any other?
Person he said no, do you know why because this test as he was lying? I'm not there to Dan I'm 57 and I will did you get them all that was Jeremy Kyle Jade Goody on Big Brother the circle and nadiya winning Bake Off in 2015 now ITV2 love Island has also come under scrutiny after two former contestants from different series Sophie gradon, and Mike thalassitis took their own lives within two years of appearing on the programme of comes new rules which are up for consultation of these number one due care must be taken over the welfare well-being and dignity of participants in.
Two participants must not be caused unjustified distress or anxiety by taking part in programs or by the broadcast of those programs for asking how much responsibility in practice to those who make reality programmes take for the welfare of those who take part that start with Rosie in Salford Rosie can you just give us some background? How do you get onto one of these programs and we would love Island this sort of a two-way process you can either be approached by a researcher via your social media and asked to sort of applied to the show whether that be sending a video was having a bit about yourself or you can actually go through an application process and it was it a long process.
What was your process for me actually got approached on Instagram but it wasn't until the day before the application take clothes that I responded and send a video and acquire and filled in a question in sent that in I'm so for me.
It was quite.
Quick because obviously the show was due to a I think a month after I applied so everything was very very fast and one of the things were focusing on today's the assessment the duty of care of programme makers what assessments did you go under what warnings or guidance were you given? We are sat down and told of his hear that it's a Big Show and when you come out.
You will get a lot of love, but also a lot of hate and we go through a medical examination as well as having a psychologist talk to us beforehand, but obviously I think that nothing can really prepare you as much as somebody can sit down and tell you that you're going to get trolled you're going to get recognised you going to be loved and hated.
I don't think anything can properly prepare you for this leads nicely to Dr penny Brown tell me about the shows you've worked on and how these assessments work how you approach.
It sure when I started this work as he said around 9 years ago in the first series of.
24hrs in A&E which is a slightly different type of program.
It's a fly on the wall documentary where people have films as they coming to A&E and some of those individuals are followed up and have interviews in their story is told when the very first series was filmed in Kings College hospital, and I was working in the university across the road and my work my research is on mental Capacity assessments and how we determine whether people can make decisions for themselves and in and informed way mainly and health settings, then I was asked to do independent mental Capacity assessments of the people who been seen in 24hrs in A&E had been filmed when they came to any with a psychiatric problem and so in terms of doing those assessments it was very much how I would do a psychiatric assessment on anybody in my day job so taking their history finding out about their background about who they are where they have a
Mental illness and then I would screen them for a broad range of mental disorders to check if there was anything that Spitalfields always straightforward in the sense that you're doing you're doing that in your day-to-day life when it comes to reality programmes.
It's very different.
I wonder you've got so called regular people who would they play up certain issues or play Down certain issues in order to make it on the programme absolutely so I found that the processes evolved over the years.
I've been doing these assessments and I'm now much less asked to assess people who had no mental health problems, but is he saying more sort of everyday people and sometimes asked about resilience or wellbeing or is there a safeguarding issue that we should be aware of as a psychiatrist.
I need to stick to my expertise.
So I can't go beyond what I'm expecting but I can advise if there are no disorders or if there are events that have happened in people's past so we're going on for them at the moment that.
A big part of why we do such detailed history if there are any risks to them going on TV and to make sure they really well informed as best they can be but is Rosie said you can't predict have the month going to to react that and you need to always be aware of that limitation of these assessments and I'll get reaction from Jonathan's Steven the moment but have you ever been in a situation where you think we thought this person should not be exposed in this way and then perhaps there was pressure from the production side to say actually this is TV or radio Gold we can't not have them.
I have I think I in some programs.
It's been much more straightforward and when I've said they don't have the capacity to consent then that's hard to argue there may be a question about how they could be anonymized whether they could be discussed in some way for the more reality TV type shows I have had exactly that's Mario I felt a little bit of pressure that I was very clear.
I do not think this is a good.
Idea, I don't think it's right with your decision ever overall.
It wasn't overruled but I don't know who has the ultimate say but all I could write in my report though.
It was an untreated mental illness that needed to be treated ok.
Will let you go to sleep then because you oversaw big brother and commissioned Geordie Shore and ex on the beach, so you've got a lot of experience talk to me about how the overall vetting and support processes for Unscripted television work and where those challenge or conflict come on board with a very long time supposed to replace the back.
We were talking earlier about Geordie Shore we commissioned Geordie Shore we probably spent about 9 months casting VI acorn kids at the six kids open the program and what was weird week are thermal we don't you know cycle Portsmouth on medicals me dumb police checks.
We did all the stuff that we thought we should do over those 7 months that we will read them and respect met them a lot of times then we.
Cost them the program went out on there.
It was very controversial.
You know that's the paper didn't like it, but what we hadn't counted on and it seems very weird saying this now was social media wasn't quite the thing that what they supposed about 9 years ago and was certain extent.
We kind of didn't know what we were doing on that front and the social media response especially towards the girls not so much that the guys in approach.
Towards girls mentally you know it breaks some of them especially for those first 6 months because they just weren't prepared for what they were doing with a socially so within you know about 69 months we were having to learn about how to how to teach people how to deal with that but we can only do so much it's interesting will pick that up with Rose in a minute considering she was approached via social media as well.
Just come back to this subject though about to Steve about the kind of person you want on these programs and Jonathan particularly you know.
How do you go about choosing a particular person because you need a mix, but it needs to be dynamic and entertaining and get ratings your great distinction between a type of program where you are telling someone to story allowing the tell the story of loanwords in working in partnership with them to do that so we made a programme about mental health and people's mental struggles and we work very closely in partnership with them if you're making the Great British Bake Off you are looking for a type of person in a very very different way firstly that show is an environment setup by the producers to try not listed as much drama and action as possible.
So you're taking someone out of their comfort zone away from their story and putting them into a pressure cooker situation.
That is going to get the certain reaction out of them and in that you want someone who is interesting and who is Mrs Meyer buses to say it takes the three things that a viewer to watch that you want to think that that is me.
I wish that was me to thank god that's
Me and if you have all three of those things in the show you're doing quite well, so I think producers are looking for character on here looking for someone who's going to react in a certain way made GPS behind closed doors and work with people with alcohol abuse issues putting them on television, how is that a positive experience for first lady the shall we made about alcohol with people who were a different stage of the recovery talking about that process and we hope that would be a help to other people on GPS behind closed doors.
It's a very different type of show because people come on.
We have no idea what they're going into the doctor to see if they can send it before they go to see the doctor and I think the one that the patient that you're alluding to was early on when we made this show a patient came in and she was drunk and she didn't have the capacity to consent she said she wanted to be filmed.
We filmed her and we then had to we always have to get secondary consent after they've come in.
And everytime I rang her up the secondary consent she was still drunk and so we asked her to have a family member present and I went around to her house and I had to go round three times.
I wanted to show her this clip and she watch this clip and said I've never seen myself like this before never see myself drunk.
I want to try and do something about it.
What do I do? When I said well here are some charities Mrs AA and this is how that works ended up taking her to an AA meeting and she vomited all over the floor.
She cried she made a huge.
Seen Everyone came and helped her and she said I'm gonna change my life and on the way home.
Just walking home.
She went into a shop and bought a bottle of vodka and drank it by the time she got home but I still am in contact with her and she hasn't drank for 3 years and she says the thing that stopped me from drinking with seeing myself on television and knowing that my friends and family were seeing that and not wanting to do that then.
She says I hope that my contribution serves as a help to other people my problem.
Is is that I decided to go to that meeting with her and I decided to go and see if she was ok to be on telly.
And I don't think there is a system in place that recognises that we should all go and do this.
I just did that because I felt like it is that some of the back of what you're saying.
I always ask people about their motivations to go on television.
You know where weighing up the risks and benefits.
Why do you want to do it and anything about why you shouldn't and very often in a wide range of programs people want to raise awareness of issues that aren't often talked about Amy's are often mental health issues, whether it's self-harm whether it's you know being the reality of someone who's committed suicide whether it's traumas that they've had and having PTSD and had a coat with that people actually want to have a voice and I think it is important that their voices heard, but it needs to be balanced and nsaid do you need to be as he said he's texting balances put in place to make sure that the program itself isn't increasing their risk and also that if they need follow-up that follow up.
It is provided for.
Interesting of Rosie I'll be keen to hear your motivation for going on Love Island but also how you dealt with any issues are say after appearing on the program and on what help was available to you my motivation for going on the show really was that I've been in University of a 8 years training to be a solicitor qualified in March and I just felt that had studied so much.
I'm sort of put my love life on hold and then love Island sort of that came away and I thought this is a perfect opportunity of qualified.
I've done everything I wanted to do education wise and now I can put myself for my personalised first and just go and have a fun summer if nothing else and I would literally went with an open mind since coming out.
Obviously I have face a lot of trolls fortunately for me.
I've had more love than hate, but I'm a strong person and I've still struggled with it.
There was a period of time over.
Christmas way, I didn't want to go to any events.
I don't want to be seen at him on the path to take photos of me simply because I couldn't deal with the negative comments following those photos being released.
Why didn't you take up if there were any offers of help? Why didn't you take them up because we all think we can do it ourselves especially when you've never really experience anything like that before you see yourself as a strong independent woman.
You just think I can deal with this I can get over this but it is a lot more difficult than it seems and fortunately for me.
I've had the support of my family my friends my partner now and they helped me realise that it was more the problem of the trolls not my problem, but I think I worry about those people that don't have that support around them like I did Jonathan I'd also say I know from our research notes that Rosie has had contact with members of staff from love Island but they weren't particularly trained they just noticed.
She was looking at feeling a bit down on Instagram got in touch with them.
This was a producer and a chaperone type person not someone official only problem is you're you're you're at the mercy of whatever assistant produce for a producer is on duty that time to think does this person need help so I think we need some independent body to try and help us to decide whether people have capacity to be in and I don't think that body should be paid for by the production company because at the moment we are paying Sykes to test people but there was a conflict of interest there because of people paying them other people doing that there was just one of them very quickly.
I just want to say is I think people go on reality television of potentially much more vulnerable than other contributors mainly because they're not going on for a special skill like there a solicitor or their Baker they're saying judge me and my personality and if then social media does George them on their personalities.
It's a bit so much harder thing to deal with this sense of well people don't like me for who I am by the television.
You're not including therefore Bake Off or come dine with me something like that when people are trying to.
Showcase skills, I think there's a difference between the same the bagels and Big Brother which is Big Brother's just like let's just judge you when you was a person or even on Love Island are we judge them just on their bodies so but now I agree with Jonathan about did the difficulty of the one we do when we made a program does always like a process that you have to go through sight test medicals police, but then when you're making a program has Jonathan sister used for sensing the program maker are watching and judging and we are paying for the Sykes rogue river Jonathan to make it work better this ole miss's be an independent body in the middle of all of us are making his assessment at the moment.
It's all too connected any I think it's a very good question as to who pays for the science.
How much follow-up should people have who is paying for that what level of care is that going to be this is seems to be very unclear from the enquiry so far as that need a parliamentary enquiry.
That's exploring this there seems to be no talk of quite a lot of offer of care.
Being provided, but where is that going to come from and who's going to pay for it? I have to say in terms of who pays you as I can't just me for example.
I do a lot of reports for the cold tonight, but might be instructed by the defensive by the prosecution that shouldn't and doesn't affect my opinion.
There is some evidence that people are affected by who there instructed by but we shouldn't change your opinions based on his paying for us, but whether that happened.
I don't know but I'm also interested.
We talk about follow up because follow-up could last forever you know but it is follow up.
You know you've been on Love Island and the follow-up is for 3 months afterwards while social media is you know still so interesting you was the popular that is where I don't see how to get to nome point on what is follower.
What's the weather is someone making money from follow up because channels will airshow times a week for 7 years for and if you were a patient on GPS behind closed doors out there your vision every week.
7 years of netstat that's a difficult thing so whose responsibility as that if your life changes one of the Ofcom proposals is that to look at to avoiding unjustified distress or anxiety I see you i c u girl Steve Lacy pick up on the whole follow-ups theme how many producers execs are going to be needed to follow up and what's the cost of this? Sorry just put that the out that wording I was talking about the wedding yesterday.
He often when I'm watching Pointless and someone's being asked the question on a questionnaire finding that a bit stressful, when they don't win is that undue stress.
It feels like that could be applied to almost anything to a certain extent when you're creating content most television revolves around using in a members of the public Bake-Off is it stressful.
They don't win on bake off all that Paul Hollywood comes and criticizes them.
I find that were doing quite scary contestant on Strictly
This present to me all those having to walk me down, but you feeling that to stress was needed for that program.
You know that's part of watching Strictly and that wording is really scary because we can't take all the way that all away from making television promo and I think there's also an element I have to say of hypocrisy and Sunday to the what where where pointing the finger.
There's 3 over 3300 episodes of Jeremy Kyle than one attempted suicide M1 suicide and there's nothing on Love Island has been to with the 100 episode so and how many Souls have enough that's absolutely enough, but how many marriages has been ruined by strictly for what I what I think my point is that we say Jeremy Kyle is really bad show because it's it is a bit and it's 14 people do certain things but actually strictly is an incredibly stressful show but we love it's a bit I want to criticize it and love islanders, won the most popular shows on television this come down two classes are absolutely hated so much.
Absolutely loved she was referred to by the media as and I quote a chav.
I just wondered much was much worse with awful pictures as well allowing the in them in the tabloids are these programs becoming almost a breeding ground for snobbery you know to divide those who have an impact enjoy ogling those who have not I think I've been former talking about Jeremy Kyle regards.
How I feel about the people but I think there's always been a class issue.
Towards Jeremy Kyle you can't escape.
I didn't part of the reason if we almost remove what happened this year.
Is that the part of the hater towards aprons been our class is here and with Jade yes absolutely but we're talking about all types of on the show.
I think that used to have probably more when you're watching the dozens of the J doc on Channel 4 last week that was on.
I think how Jade was treated at it would be difficult to get away with nowadays from the press.
You would get that Dream of social media.
Exactly as you say it's on social media isn't it? I mean any how do you prepare when you're doing his mental assessments, how do you prepare people for the social media backlash? Well, is that your job? Well? It's not entirely my job.
Generally the production companies will have they will have a way of preparing people in they will have someone who's not medical to talk to them about advise them.
I think they're advised not to read their own followers comments and things like that and ideally close down there accounts.
I do talk about it with them and ID certainly talk about any previous times that they've received negativity, whether it's on social media or linen in another forum and how they coped with that but it's very difficult to to be definitive about whether someone is going to struggle the things that I'm much more interested in I suppose this is there a mental illness or mental disorder that needs to be addressed first and foremost that we should be treating.
Is there anything that we should be keeping a close eye on a lot of in a real talking before about prevention.
We shouldn't be subjecting people to undue harm.
Whatever that means so ideally we should be preventing people from being harmed by the programs, but not all of those Hamza predictable so that's when we should then be monitoring and offering proactively not react with Lee offering support Rosie I wonder about your thoughts on this because you were saying you know now you've been in situations where you had to avoid paparazzi.
You're you're much more well-known, even though you had her presents on social media.
Do you think as someone who's had more experience even as a celebrity? You would be better prepared to deal with the social media backlash then perhaps you were as a regular person before you went on Love Island I think I've come to a point in my life now after a year of being in the media and having people have an opinion on me whether they know me or not.
That without a lot better.
I'd say in the last few months and I sort of just laugh, It Off try not to look some still get to me, but not as much as he used to and I think when it comes to the aftercare and what the Show could offer I don't blame love Island at all.
I think that they are becoming bigger and bigger every single series and as that happens.
They have to learn from past experiences with the aftercare in with things that have happened in trying and try and better that and whenever they have seen that have been upset somebody's contacted me and just head just to let you know Rosie a psychologist is available if you ever want to talk to them what I just think it's that the people who are struggling from mental health issues, and not the people to normally willingly talk about it.
So I think myself and maybe other contestants would have benefited from being forced to go to therapy for around 6 to 12 months after app for me, that's why.
I think personally has been on the show can that be contractually obliged is that is that you're shaking your head Steve anything you know you're being the contract if you go on this programme when you come out you have to CO6 some kind of counseling and psychiatric out to be assessed.
We have had a show where we have said afterwards you're going to this is possibly make sure you're going to go and have aftercare the thing that I think is very very difficult to tell and won't anyone about is what the price of Fame is and I've made a show with someone who has been on three different television shows before and been on many musical Tours and said I'm gonna be different sort of celebrity and no one could have predicted.
How big the show was and then on the second week of the Show had locked himself in a disguise in a toilet refused to come out and said people think they know me they don't wanna piece of me and when I took him out of the toilet someone recognise him in the street and he wiped the tears from his eyes and he went back to his normal on TV stick and I just thought that is the recipe to Madness and I could never I've told him what is
To be like to be that famous and I agree with Jonathan a Bake-Off is different to Big Brother and two total of Ireland and I I really loved ones this world that yes, it's awful what happened to people love Island Jeremy Kyle is all connected to the shopping is way more complicated that I think that these processes have worked really well.
There's very few cases that have seen happened to it.
Slightly feel that being slightly over the top at the moment well on that thought I'm gonna say thank you.
Thank you very much Steve thank you Jonathan thank you Dr penny Brown Rosie thank you as well for joining us from Salford just to let you know Julian Warrick is going to be presenting next week.
I've enjoyed it today.
Hope you have thanks for listening do subscribe to the media Show podcast on BBC sounds that way you'll never miss an episode bye bye.
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