A furious mum has slammed Jeremy Kyle for making ‘fake’ promises to her disabled daughter. Lisa and 11-year-old Savannah were guests on the ITV show earlier in the year and were told they were going to be treated to a once-in-a-lifetime trip, however, the reality left them extremely disappointed.
At just three months old, Savannah Nicholls was diagnosed with cancer after a bone marrow transplant and alongside her mum, appeared on the show at the beginning of 2017 to celebrate 10 years of being cancer-free.
Viewers were thrilled to learn that despite concerns for her health, Savannah is now expected to reach adulthood after fears she may lose her life at an extremely young age.
During her cancer treatment as a baby, Savannah was forced to battle an infection which tragically left her with brain damage. The young girl also suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy and has had to endure over 30 operations; therefore has spent most of her young life in a hospital bed.
Lisa stated that she gave Savannah the opportunity to appear on the show to inspire other ill young children that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Whilst appearing on the show, Jeremy made a promise to the little girl that as a reward for her bravery, the show would treat her to see former Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity live on stage; including a meet and greet opportunity, overnight hotel stay and all travel expenses included.
In front of the studio audience and viewers at home, the ITV host told Savannah: I have got a surprise for you. A little birdie told me you like Diversity.”
“They have asked us to tell you, as we have been on to them, that you can pick any day and any of their arena tours in the United Kingdom, VIP seats a whole day out, meet and greet, hotel, we will throw the whole lot in.
“You are going to meet Diversity.”
However, Lisa was taken aback when five ‘restricted view’ tickets arrived for Diversity’s Manchester gig, with no mention of transport or hotel stay, despite the family living at the other end of the country in Cornwall.
Lisa admitted that she simply couldn’t afford both transport to Manchester and hotel costs, despite Jeremy promising an ‘all-expenses paid for’ trip. Reluctantly, she was forced to make the decision of turning down the tickets and Savannah’s ultimate dream of seeing Diversity.
The furious mum-of-five contacted the show to complain, however, those on the other end of the phone simply admitted that Jeremy had got ‘carried away’ with his promises. She also stated that she hadn’t received a personal apology from Jeremy himself, or ITV bosses.
Talking to The Mirror, Lisa said: “When we were on the show Kyle said they were going to get a venue, pay for the hotel and travel and that you can meet them before the show.
“It was amazing. He even wrote about it on his website and we were all so excited. But just a couple of weeks before the show we got five tickets in the post which were restricted view seats. I rang the producer and said we have nowhere to stay and how are we going to get there? They acknowledged Jeremy did say it but say he just got carried away. They said ‘I am sure you understand.’ But no, I don’t understand. I could not afford to go. I was mortified and had to tell the children. It was horrendous – the kids were gutted.”
However, despite turning down the tickets, Lisa stated that ITV staff phoned back to try and make-up for their mistake, but she had already returned the tickets in the hope that someone else could make use of them.
“They said they had managed to speak to Diversity who would speak to us before the show but it was too late. Savannah wouldn’t have been able to see anyway, ” Lisa admitted.
“This was only after I cried down the phone but it was only a few days before the show when they came back and by then it was too late. We had sent the tickets back.Why would we have given up this incredible opportunity when it was our dream?
The whole way we have been treated by the show has been awful. I don’t blame Jeremy personally – he probably didn’t know anything about it.”
She also went on to tell The Mirror: “Savannah doesn’t have it easy and this was supposed to be a special memory we would all have. Instead it turned into a nightmare.We have been told she would die on several occasions. But we have been able to give her a good quality of life. She was told she would never walk but can get around. We were all just so excited by this and have been horribly let down.”
Savannah’s appearance on the Jeremy Kyle Show was organised by the charity Rays of Sunshine, however, they have yet to comment publicly on the initial issue.
Lisa’s call to the show was made on 31st March of this year and staff later got in touch with the charity to see if alternative arrangements could be made. On 10th April, the charity declared that the issue had been resolved and had offered the Diversity meet and greet, with accommodation and travel costs all included.
A spokesperson for the show said: “We did offer Lisa and her family tickets, travel and and a VIP meet and greet as promised but she declined the offer.”, whilst the charity also backed the show, adding: “The Jeremy Kyle Show did everything it could to uphold the promise to the family re Diversity.”
One user tweeted Diversity directly in the hope that the dance group could still make Savannah’s dream a reality, writing:
@Diversity_Tweet I hope you can sort something out for that ill little girl who was over promised by Jeremy Kyle to see and meet you guys”.
The performance took place on April 19th.
Catch the Jeremy Kyle Show on ITV on weekdays from 9.30am.