Thursday, 20 Jun 2024

Jerry Springer, influential US talkshow host, dies aged 79

Jerry Springer, influential US talkshow host, dies aged 79


Jerry Springer, influential US talkshow host, dies aged 79

The talkshow host Jerry Springer, a former mayor of Cincinnati whose work was vastly influential in daytime TV worldwide, has died. He was 79.

Springer was best known for his 27-year, near-4,000-episode run as host of his eponymous talkshow, which featured guests who purportedly engaged in controversial, excessive and often overtly sexual behavior.

Guests often broke into chair-wielding brawls or fretted while Springer read paternity test results on air.

The show often generated negative headlines. A 15-year-old boy in Florida charged with sexual battery of his half-sister, aged eight, told detectives he learned what incest was from Springer. A woman in a segment entitled Secret Mistresses Confronted was found dead within hours of broadcast.

It catapulted Springer to fame, including the 1998 Hollywood comedy Ringmaster, loosely based on his life, and a cameo in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me in 1999, the same year he signed a contract worth $30m. The show also inspired a musical, Jerry Springer: the Opera, which logged more than 600 performances in London from 2003 to 2005.

Some credited his success with inspiring other critically panned ratings magnets including Real Housewives and 90-Day Fiance.

Gerald Norman Springer was born in London during the second world war after his family fled Nazi Germany. He was four when his family moved to New York.

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