Australian DJs Behind Royal Prank Say They're 'Shattered, Gutted' in First Interview Since Nurse Killed Herself

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COPS TO QUESTION
Australian DJs who prank called hospital to be quizzed. Read More »
BEFORE THE CALL
DJs boasted call was "easiest ever made." Read More »

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 Saldanhacommitted 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."

The young DJ described learning the news that Saldanha had died. She said it was "the worst phone call I’ve ever had in my life."

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.

“I am writing to protest in the strongest possible terms about the hoax call made from your radio station, 2DayFM, to this hospital last Tuesday,” Lord Glenarthur wrote in a letter addressed to Max Moore-Wilton, chairman of the station’s parent company Southern Cross Austereo.

The DJs were taken off the air and have reportedly been offered counseling in the wake of the nurse’s death.

What do you think of the DJ's response? Weigh in below.

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Discuss

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  • Liana
    Liana

    I agree with you Nathalie, bullying does stem from insecurity and I can bet those 2 fools would have never even considered going to Nursing College/school, wonder if they have any school. Maybe as a punishment they should both be sent to Nursing School LOL. Everyone else may run away from there seeing them

  • Nathalie
    Nathalie

    Those 2 DJ are representatives of a whole section of society. Bullying stems from insecurity and just to "be there" and "succeed" in todays world you need something like skills, education, developed talents etc. When you have none and have indulged in a life of partying and fun, you will look for other ways to "be there"like bullying for example. Other ways to feel good about yourself (that you have belittled someone educated for example. Unfortunately that cant take you far or wont lastlong. This is the ultimate of bullying and I bet those 2 DJ's will pay for it for the rest of their lives.

  • Steve Monks
    Steve Monks

    There is no way people should be lambasting these 2 DJs. Beadle did way worse! How was anyone to know this would happen? no one could have foreseen this. The nurse was obviously in a dark place to begin with.Tragic of course but there has to be more to it than a phone call......

  • Sara F
    Sara F

    Mark, I take your point, but for the record, I for one did not laugh when I heard the phone call on the radio. I instantly felt sorry for the nurse who was giving that information to the DJs. So don't assume that everyone is a hypocrite.

  • Mark
    Mark

    And one more thing---If all you hypocrites...no wait...if all us hypocrites had initially shown outrage to the DJ's like you are doing now, perhaps she wouldn't have committed suicide. But no, the whole world laughed and admonished her for being gullible, blah blah blah. Then she commits suicide and we all change our tune. This whole thing just screams where we are as a society. Bullies, humiliation, finger pointing with laughter at the victim, insecurity, suicide, finger pointing with distain for the bullies. And to be honest with you, it wasn't the DJs doing the bullying. It was the media and society after she "fell for it". We are ALL to blame.

  • Annie
    Annie

    I dont really have the facts to dwell on who was at fault here.. But I want to say that I think its just terrible that someone died, and my best wishes to the families and all others involved.

  • Mark
    Mark

    I heard the prank call after it went viral. Everyone was laughing. I mean everyone. Oh sure, there would always be someone saying,"I can't beleive they fell for it!", but even they would laugh a bit. Now, the dispacher commits suicide and the whole world is grabbing thier pitchforks to go after the DJ's. You ALL are hypocrites! Was the prank in bad taste? Not compared to others I've heard. This was a simple ploy by the media to get patched through. I feel bad that she fell for it, but it isn't her fault, as she clearly had no established protocol to follow. I feel bad that she was so down on herself for it that she committed suicide. But the media is now giving the glory to the woman who killed herself. So now anytime someone is embarrased by someone else, apparently the message we are sending is "suicide is the answer to redeem yourself and punish the ones who tricked you." This is just awful, the way society is reacting. I support the DJ's. My condolences to the family in this time of loss.

  • Erin
    Erin

    I think it is very selfish and wrong for what the dj's did to the princes. They should have learned their lesson not to prank call the hospital. I'm sorry that the nurse died.

  • Kay
    Kay

    Hi, from australia, As an australian and when i heard about this terrible sadness of events i was deeply saddned and shocked to the bone, i have a feeling no one expected this outcome to have happened and i am sending my deepest condolences to her family and friends One: please watch the interview on youtube, before commenting on media's (newspapers, radios, or television) views of the ACA interview with tracy....... Two: This hoax was pre-recorded by mel& and micheal, then went to the main head office to get filtered, then was okay'd by producers to then be put on their live show three hours later...... (the control room had every oppertunity to turn off the show or not put the prank on air)... Three: australians are also very saddened about what has happened, and as for myself and many aussie familys shocked how far the "prank" went and are really shocked that 2dayFM allowed it to go, all the way to the public with out the high up bosses and lawyers stepping in saying this is a bad idea...... Four: I understand that the DJs have a part in the prank but also, what happens when no BOSS or person in-charge, goes this is a terrible idea and this could go or cause lots of damage to other people......... And as for being a syptom Australia’s perpetual adolescence not all australians would do something like this........ Its a very upsetting thing to have happened but i think media and peoples views of the situtation should wait and get full facts before making judgement on what has happened......... I believe the hospital should of put some security with the nurse for support and safety to stop the chances of this terrible fact that has happened......... My condolences to her family and friends, deeply saddened by the turn of events and sending much love to you all...

  • carmen2
    carmen2

    the act of suicide in this scenario is not justified by the severity of the prank. the DJs feel under pressure due to the global interest and because it has "celebrity" attached to it. The wife of the future king whom is pregnant with another heir. The son of the people's princess. So their defensive reaction is not a surprise. All media forms have a person whom makes the final decision as to whether the production is to be released. "Don't shoot the messenger" that is the purpose of having a producer/editor. Suicide is associated with mental illness. Transferring a phone call does not justify suicide. Reporting the symptoms and condition of a person to some randoms (famous or not) still does not justify ending your life. I empathise with the family and friends of this woman, however, anyone with the mob mentality wanting to jump on the bandwagon of this witch hunt are being influenced by emotion and on a mission to make an example of a situation that does not need global attention. I work in an industry where confidentiality is paramount. The nurses should have received a warning. End of story. If criminal charges are made against the two DJs then god help us all. Is the law now based on global reaction? Everyone needs to calm down, remove the emotion and look logically at the facts. And the fact is, no one commits suicide because the revealed to a stranger the symptoms of a future queen. Otherwise the other lady would not be alive either.

  • Monica
    Monica

    They apparently did not expect to get through and expected to be hung up on. But why did they not stop when they got through and why did they put the stupid hoax in air? They must have known, that the staff at the hospital could get into serious trouble for disclosing information about a patient. The nurses would not say no to the Queen, and those Astralian fools took advantage of that.

  • Karen Le Roux
    Karen Le Roux

    I blame the hospital, after all, they had the future Queen of England in their position, so they should have put some kind of security question or password in use, (and changed it often) that should have been given to the telephonist on duty, so that anybody trying to get through to Kate, would have never have gotten through, because they dont know the security question. And then if that had come out, a whole different story, then it would have been somebody leaking the security codes. Our DJ's also do prank calls, its done all over the world, and I mean really what are the chances of getting through at the hospital. Had the hospital put security into place the telephonist on duty would not have been put in the position she was put in, and never taken her own life. My condolences to her family.

  • Richard Mahony
    Richard Mahony

    Excellent comment Sarah. I agree 100% with everything you write. These so-called prank calls are a symptom of Australia's perpetual adolescence. It's about time we grew up. One boy's prank is another's torment. Why does Australia have such a high rate of suicides; why is online bullying and workplace bullying rife; why are there so many crimes of violence against men and women, boys and girls? It’s because too many Australians refuse to accept that it's time we started to do things better than the way we have done things for the last two hundred years.

  • Sara F
    Sara F

    This is a load of rubbish. I am talking about the "poor excuse for an excuse" that these DJs insist on insulting our intelligence with, being that they expected to be hung up on and never expected to get through to anyone "blah blah." Now, the fact is, they DID manage to get through to someone, and obtain confidential information. Upon realising their "expectations" had been surpassed, they had the opportunity to pull circulation of the prank recording. I understand the phone call was pre-recorded, therefore it was at their discretion as to whether or not to circulate the recording. They chose to do so because they were so pleased with themselves and ratings-obsessed. No respect, consideration or judgment. So DJs, don't insult the public's intelligence by attempting "a poor excuse for an excuse" on the basis you never expected to get as far as you did, because you consciously released the recording to the world, and what's more, you were proud of it. So just shut up and cut this insulting impression of being the victims here.

  • georgialyse
    georgialyse

    Has it been proved yet that the nurse has actually commit suicide? Everything I have read has said it is still uncertain. If it hasn't been proved yet, it's wrong to claim so in the title of the article.