IT was probably only a matter of time before a suicide was linked to participants on The Jeremy Kyle Show but it does reveal two interesting traits about the current British psyche.

The cancellation of the popular show and the general castigation of Kyle in the wake of the death of a 66-year-old man who had failed a lie detector test could be seen as a typical knee-jerk reaction to appease public baying for blood.

There has been much talk about the “duty of care” that reality shows should have for those taking part and that’s fair enough.

However, these days, if anyone objects to anything or in any way feels offended, there is always a review and action taken.

It’s beyond doubt that we live in highly over-sensitive times, irrespective of the generation wielding the axe.

Never mind that doubt has now been cast on any link between the show and this man’s tragic death.

Never mind that the popularity of the programme at all shows that we love to see the worst of human nature tackling each other.

While many of us are now very quick to take offence generally, this comes hand in hand with a willingness to express our own views in the most extreme way.

We were quite happy to watch people going on The Jeremy Kyle Show, Love Island (another show linked to suicides) and any other programme that allows people to plumb the depths of human feelings before we deemed Kyle and the others “offensive”.

At the same time, some people were also quite content to criticise participants in the most vile and nasty ways on social media and anywhere else they could get away with being anonymous and venting venomous views.

An odd combination that: over-sensitivity to other people’s opinions and behaviour, yet quite happy to spew out anything individuals want to get off their chest about them.

Television is very much a mirror held up to society and we get a pretty accurate reflection of the dual standards there today.

We also see the general unkindness because programmes like Jeremy Kyle’s show are brutally unkind.

Irrespective of whether you watch this and other extreme reality shows or not, we as a nation do seem to have lost our empathy for others that allows tolerance of different behaviours and opinions. So, we get the sort of TV we deserve.

In some ways, it explains the huge number of viewers for fantasy shows like Game of Thrones which take people completely away from real-life. It also explains why many of us love the re-runs of kinder, quality shows like Dad’s Army, Open All Hours, Midsomer Murders and even modern quiz shows like Tipping Point and The Chase. The familiarity and gentler approach offers unchallenging, uncomplicated viewing.

They are a world away from the seamy underbelly of the life Kyle highlights or even the primped, shallowness of Love Island. When did TV become so low and our reactions to it so hypocritical ?