Dr. Christian Jessen: More needs to be done to protect reality stars
25 March 2019 - 9:00 AM

Dr. Christian Jessen: More needs to be done to protect reality stars

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Dr. Christian Jessen says production companies have a "responsibility" to make sure their stars are "looked after", following the death of Mike Thalassitis.

The "Love Island" star tragically took his own life earlier this month, and the TV doctor - who is best known for his work on "Embarrassing Bodies" - says more needs to be done to make sure reality stars are properly taken care of when they get thrust into the spotlight.

He said: "Naturally, slightly naive or slightly vulnerable people are going to be selected to go on these types of shows. People have no idea what fame actually means and how fickle it can be and how all consuming it cam be and how it can undermine your self-esteem.

"People see the image portrayed of success and glamour and beautiful people having a lovely time, whereas in reality it is not like that.

"The problem with the shows is that one minute you are up there and the next minute you are literally nobody as a new show has come out.

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"One minute everyone loves you and the next they don't know who the f**k you are, which is a hugely tough thing to deal with. I think TV channels and production companies have a responsibility to make sure people are looked after."

Christian added that during his time on "Embarrassing Bodies" an "aftercare package" was available to patients which many of them are still using.

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He revealed: "When we used to film "Embarrassing Bodies" five or six years ago it had an aftercare package, which is still in place for many of the patients today.

"The likes of "Love Island" have huge budgets, they make tonnes of money, so of course there is money to help make sure people are looked after correctly.

"If you tell a very depressed person that they can always pick up the phone and call they are not going to call you. Blokes in particular don't do that. If you are depressed you won't pick up the phone and call as you don't feel worthy of that."

And the doctor slammed reality shows for "intending to cause a meltdown" for good ratings, and said it's "not ethical or responsible".

Speaking to Daily Star Online, he said: "Producers see more vulnerable people as better for the show as they are more mouldable and will bring more drama. It's not ethical or responsible even if a person has signed a bit of paper saying they are up for it.

"Producers clearly intend to cause a meltdown, the show is designed for the meltdown, which is not very nice. I suspect with "Love Island" they want the people who will produce more drama."

Since Mike's death, ITV - who air "Love Island" - has said more will be done to provide aftercare for the stars of the popular show.

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