DAVID Dickinson's Real Deal will replace The Jeremy Kyle Show for a fortnight — despite being a ratings flop.
The antiques programme, hosted by David Dickinson, 77, is to fill in on ITV until at least the end of the month, The Sun can reveal.
But it was watched by just 360,000 viewers at one point when it debuted in the slot on Monday.
That's 750,000 down on the scrapped reality show presented by Kyle, 53.
A TV source said: "ITV need some time to work out what is going to be in the slot long-term.
"Putting a reliable show like Dickinson's Real Deal in the slot for now means it gives them some breathing space and a bit of time to think.
"All of the controversy around the Jeremy Kyle Show came so suddenly they haven't decided what will replace it yet. But a two week period with less pressure means they can make that decision in their own time."
The Jeremy Kyle Show was taken off the air after tragic Steve Dymond was found dead ten days after appearing in an episode.
He is feared to have taken his own life after failing a love rat lie detector test before splitting with his fiancee Jane Callaghan.
The programme ran 3,320 episodes over 14 years but was binned amid uproar from Mr Dymond’s loved ones and viewers.
Carolyn McCall, ITV’s CEO, announced: “Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of The Jeremy Kyle Show.
“The Jeremy Kyle Show has had a loyal audience and has been made by a dedicated production team for 14 years, but now is the right time for the show to end.
“Everyone at ITV's thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Steve Dymond."
The decision to axe Jeremy Kyle comes after Prime Minister Theresa May said Mr Dymond's death was a "deeply concerning case".
The Sun previously revealed how Jeremy feared chiefs were looking for an excuse to axe his show for good.
Kyle, who is on a £2million-a-year contract with ITV, had told friends he was afraid of being made a scapegoat for the tragedy.
YOU'RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
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