Australian DJs Behind Royal Prank Say They're 'Shattered, Gutted' in First Interview Since Nurse Killed Herself
The embattled Australian radio hosts who recorded an audio prank call to the London hospital where Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, was receiving treatment for acute morning sickness have spoken out for the first time since the British nurse who answered the ill-fated call, Jacintha Saldanha, committed suicide.
In a television interview with the Nine Network in Australia, 2Day FM radio hosts Michael Christian and Mel Greig admitted they are "shattered, gutted (and) heartbroken" over the tragic end to their hoax.
"There's not a minute that goes by where we don't think about her family and what they must be going through and the thought we may have played a part in that is gut-wrenching," Greig told the program A Current Affair.
The pair wept at times during the interview -- their first public appearance since Saldanha’s death was confirmed by King Edward VII Hospital -- revealing the "simple harmless phone call" had been the joint idea of their production team.
Christian added, “It was just the team sitting down before the show... (we) just had the idea for just a simple harmless phone call. That we thought about making a call it was going to go for 30 seconds we were going to be hung up on and that was it. As innocent as that.”
Greig added: "We thought a hundred people before us would've tried it, we thought it was such a silly idea and the accents were terrible and not for a second did we expect to speak to Kate let alone have a conversation with anyone at the hospital. We wanted to be hung up on."
Breaking down in tears, Greig added: "These prank calls are made every day, on every radio station, in every country around the world and they have been for a long time and no-one could’ve imagined this to happen."
The television network said it did not pay the DJs for the interview.
At the weekend, the chairman of King Edward VII’s Hospital, where Kate Middleton was being treated for severe morning sickness earlier this week, penned a letter to the radio station, condemning the prank call.
The DJs were taken off the air and have reportedly been offered counseling in the wake of the nurse’s death.
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