The claim was made on the Channel 4 show Dispatches by an anonymous employee who worked on the daytime series that was cancelled by ITV earlier this month.
The former producer said that their colleagues would smoke cannabis with guests in an attempt to “keep them happy” before filming. Another source alleged that production would pay for taxis that would take guests to their drug dealers en route to the studio.
A former producer who worked on the show said: “There was a contributor who was a drug addict and had since stopped taking drugs and cleaned their act up. But in actual fact the show wanted them to be on drugs, because there was no ‘story’ without it.
“One of the producers was asked to ‘get that person to take drugs again’ and at one point was asked to ‘leave money lying around on a table so they will take that money and go and buy drugs with it’.”
ITV has called these claims “untrue” and that staff “would never condone illegal drug taking”.
An ITV spokesman also said that alcohol was banned in the green room, adding: “The only exception is in relation to a small number of guests who are going on to a residential rehabilitation programme after their appearance on the show.”
Following The Jeremy Kyle Show‘s cancellation, a spotlight has been placed on how guests were treated prior to and following their appearances. The channel suspended the series indefinitely after the suspected suicide of Steve Dymond, who had undergone a “lie detector” test on an episode that was yet to be broadcast.
The Dispatches episode, titled "TV on Trial", also featured two former contestants who revealed they tried to take their own lives after appearing on the series.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies