Pat Stacey TV critic
Jeremy kyle has moved into prime position as Tv's most loathsome being
Or in other words, we're going to have to revise the running order in our list of the Most Loathsome Men on Television.
Up until now, the undisputed king of this sadly far from elite group has been Simon Cowell, closely followed by his pink marshmallow-faced pal and protege Piers Morgan at number two, with Jeremy Clarkson taking it late around the bend to swing into third spot.
But it's time for Cowell to take a step down from his lofty position, thereby squashing his bum into Morgan's face (a not entirely unappealing prospect, you'll probably agree) and forcing Morgan to plant his foot on Clarkson's head (form an orderly queue), in order to make way for the new squid on the rock.
Step forward the thoroughly vile Jeremy Kyle, whose morning show on ITV -- and inevitably TV3 -- basically functions as a driftnet to scoop up bits of tracksuit-wearing plankton that have drifted to the bottom of humanity's pond.
Although Kyle's rancid programme often scrapes depths of the barrel previously known only to a woodlouse, under normal circumstances he'd barely register as an irritating mote in our mind's eye.
But this all changed on a recent show, subtitled "Will our relationship survive two lie detectors and a DNA test?", in which a showboating Kyle rudely threw an envelope into the lap of a bloke called Kev. As Kyle turned away to milk the studio audience's laughter, Kev snatched the envelope off the floor and flung it back at him, sending it pinging off a spot just above his left ear.
Quick as a flash, two enormous, bull-necked show bouncers, with arms as thick as Arnie Schwarzenegger's thighs, were on the scene, manhandling Kev, a puny and rather gormless specimen, back into his chair.
What were they afraid of? That he might be carrying a fully loaded Jiffy bag in his pocket?
Peering between his gigantic minders' massive shoulders, Kyle continued to taunt and humiliate Kev in the manner of the most practised playground bully.
So our loathsomeness list has a new champion. Short of Simon Cowell literally murdering a contestant on The X Factor, he's going to be there for some time to come.