Jeremy Kyle: How star set up ‘wed a stranger’ competition – then married winner

4 min

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The ITV star had already tied the knot once before by this point in 1991. He had daughter Harriet with first wife Kirsty Rowley – but two years in the pair got divorced. He met Carla that same year and would state that he could “confide anything” in her. She served as a caring counsellor to The Jeremy Kyle Show host – a man who would assist and often berate others before a peak viewing audience of 1.5 million. Jeremy and Carla had three children together before they split up in 2015. In unearthed interviews, the less than traditional way that Jeremy and Carla’s love story began can be revealed.

Jeremy began his broadcast career later on in life, landing his first radio job at the age of 31.

Prior to this, he had worked as a salesman for an insurance firm – and only considered becoming a presenter when a friend complimented his voice. 

He joined Invicta FM before moving onto Birmingham’s BRMB – where he would host a late night show. 

Soon after launching a confessions based call-in he would be snapped up by rival radio stations until he was given his TV break in 2005.

Jeremy Kyle: How star set up ‘wed a stranger’ competition – then married winner

Jeremy Kyle and Carla Germaine were married for 14 years – but the couple met in an unusual way (Image: GETTY)

Jeremy Kyle: How star set up ‘wed a stranger’ competition – then married winner

Jeremy and second wife Carla Germaine had three children together and divorced in 2016 (Image: GETTY)

The Jeremy Kyle Show was on air for 14 years and despite facing much criticism – once famously described as “Human bear baiting” – it was an outright success.

The programme withstood the cutting comments and reviews – and nurtured an army of ‘Jezza’ fans unable to take their eyes off the TV.

But last year, the show was axed one of the guests, Steve Dymond, died from suicide. 

Last month Jeremy’s agent Claire Powell announced that the star would be back for a new show later this year but gave no details away – she simply stated: “WATCH THIS SPACE!”

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Jeremy Kyle: How star set up ‘wed a stranger’ competition – then married winner

Jeremy and his new partner Vicky Burton welcomed a child into the world in February (Image: GETTY)

Jeremy’s career took off thanks to his stint at radio station BRMB and would also lead to his second marriage after a quirky competition.

The show wanted to find a bachelor and bachelorette willing to marry a complete stranger. 

The couple would be compensated with a luscious wedding – worth £50,000 – at the Hyatt Hotel in Birmingham and a honeymoon in the Bahamas. 

Not only that but they would get to live rent-free inside a plush city centre apartment and be given a car to use free of charge for a year too, a 2015 Birmingham Mail article reported.  

Their only issue – finding someone brave enough to do it.

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Jeremy Kyle: How star set up ‘wed a stranger’ competition – then married winner

The trash talking host and psychologist Graham Stanier have appeared on The Jeremy Kyle Show (Image: GETTY)

Jeremy Kyle: How star set up ‘wed a stranger’ competition – then married winner

At its peak, The Jeremy Kyle Show had an viewership of 1.5 million (Image: GETTY)

Despite the unusual concept, they claimed to have sifted through hundreds of applicants before settling on the future husband and wife.

The lucky lady was announced as 23-year-old model Carla Germaine from Sutton Coldfield and the gleeful groom was sales manager Greg Cordell from Tamworth. 

The winners of ‘Two Strangers and a Wedding’ competition tied the knot in 1999 and the pair flew-off on their honeymoon. 

But, for Carla and Greg, love was not on the cards and it is claimed they continuously argued during their two-week break.

A 2007 Daily Mail article stated: “It was no great shock when the radio marriage lasted just three months.”

Soon after Jeremy swooped in and started dating the heartbroken divorcee – four years later in 2003, the pair would be getting married themselves. 

It would not be long until the star’s career would skyrocket into the stratosphere, either.

Jeremy revealed his love and trust for his wife in his 2009 biography ‘I’m Only Being Honest’.

Jeremy Kyle: How star set up ‘wed a stranger’ competition – then married winner

Jeremy and Carla have split-up in 2015 after claims of infidelities on both sides (Image: GETTY)

He wrote: “In Carla, I have a wife in whom I can confide about anything. 

“The minute I have a problem, I go to her. The minute I have made a mistake, I know I can go to her.

“She may well call me all the names under the sun behind closed doors… But she’ll defend me to the hilt in public over whatever allegation is doing the rounds.”

Despite his hard-hitting TV persona, Jeremy would claim that he was the “pussycat in the relationship” and that Carla would take on their problems “aggressively”. 

In a public statement at the time of their divorce four years ago, Jeremy said he and Carla had “sadly grown apart over recent years”.

Later, in a 2018 Daily Mail article, he would reflect that to find true love you need to be single and find happiness within first.

Jeremy said: “Isn’t it the truth you don’t actually ever end up with that person, the right person until you face the abyss?

“Don’t you have to be alone, and be okay on your own, just get on with your life, you’re not desperate, you’re not looking for someone, then that person finds you.

“Don’t all of us need to be alone at some point in our lives to end up with the right person.”

Jeremy is now dating his children’s former nanny Vicky Burton and the couple welcomed their first child last month. 

The trash-talking thrice-divorced dad-of-five will return to air later this year. 

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