The dark side of reality TV is set to be explored in a new BBC drama inspired by the recent tragedies of Love Island and Jeremy Kyle contestants.
TV and radio presenter Reggie Yates has written Killed By My Fame, an hour-long BBC3 drama which aims to “shine a light on the brutal side of reality TV”. The drama will be the first time Yates has written for TV and explore the complications that can rise from instant fame and social media.
Discussing his new project, Yates said: “Growing up in television I’ve continued to be fascinated by the evolution of reality TV. I’ve often questioned how affecting whirlwind fame can become once the cameras are gone. All too often the audience sees the glamour and popularity that comes with being in the public eye, but in this drama we explore the true impact instant fame can have. I’m delighted to be partnering with BBC Three for my television writing debut and having a further creative voice as an executive producer.”
The plot will follow the rise and fall of a reality star, examining what checks are really made about those who are chosen to share their lives in detail with millions of viewers on TV and what happens once their fifteen minutes of fame is over and the cameras stop rolling and the impact this toll takes on their mental health and wellbeing.
The factual drama comes months after MPs launched an inquiry into reality TV’s duty of care towards participants, following the deaths of former Love Island contestants, Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon, and Jeremy Kyle guest Steve Dymond. While the Jeremy Kyle show was axed in May, campaigners have been urging ITV bosses to follow suit with Love Island.
Prior to the start of this year’s series of Love Island, ITV announced that all contestants would receive a minimum of eight therapy sessions following their stint on the show as part of its new “duty of care processes”.