When a couple appeared recently on the famed Jeremy Kyle show, they brought along their two young children and left them supervised on set as filming took place.
However, staff then became seriously worried – because the toddlers appeared to be distressed, malnourished and unclean.
The couple, a man and a woman who can’t be named for legal reasons, are aged 23 and 26 and featured on the show earlier this year.
The Coventry Telegraph reports that the babies are the biological children of the woman.
After the family departed, concerned studio workers contacted police, with officers and social welfare representatives calling around to the parents the following day.
There, the couple were arrested on suspicion of child neglect.
A court this week heard that although both adults are noticeably overweight, the children – both of whom are under two years – were close-to starving.
Staff on the Jeremy Kyle show furthermore explained that one child had a bruised face and both seemed “unresponsive, emotionally vacant, dirty and unkempt”.
When authorities visited the house they said the property was cold, dirty clothes were strewn around and there were faeces stains on the carpets.
Upon seeing the police, their mother, who was 34 weeks’ pregnant at the time, immediately disappeared upstairs and was found changing the nappy of the older child.
His legs and feet were caked in faeces and she was trying to clean him using baby wipes.
The youngsters have since made significant progress and have put on a significant amount of weight. They are currently living with adoptive parents.
The judge presiding over the case this week praised the “conscientious” Jeremy Kyle show staff.
Addressing the defendants the judge also said: “Your home was visited and was found to be, quite frankly, disgusting.
“The two children were not properly clothed, you had let them get too cold, you hadn’t fed them properly and you hadn’t washed them.”
He also warned: “Should you have any more children the first people in your home will be Coventry social services.”
At Coventry Crown Court on Tuesday both defendants were each jailed for 12 months, suspended for two years, and given 18 months’ supervision.