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Kate Middleton Hospital Radio Prank: The DJs SPEAK! Parent Company Releases Statement!

| Filed under: Royals RoyceR.I.P.Media MinuteKate MiddletonSad Sad

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Well, we guess that gag-order has been revoked!

Michael Christian and Mel Greig, the Australian DJs who made the now infamous prank call to Kate Middleton's hospital — a call that is suspected to have contributed to the death of registered nurse Jacintha Saldanha — have spoken out for the first time since news of the tragedy broke last Friday.

The 2DayFM DJ duo have now appeared in two interviews, and during their discussion with A Current Affair, the pair stated:

Christian: "When we thought about making a call, [we thought] it was going to go for 30 seconds, we were going to be hung up on, and that was it. As innocent as that."

Mel: "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… [When I heard what hat happened] It was the worst phone call I've ever had in my life."

Christian: "[I feel] Shattered, gutted, heartbroken and obviously, you know… our deepest sympathies are with the family and the friends. 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.”

Mel: "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 that we may have played a part in that is gut-wrenching."

The Hot 30 show co-hosts also spoke to Today Tonight, essentially saying the same thing.

Mel and Christian have since been suspended from air and there's even whisperings that British authorities will launch an investigation into the prank.

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), the parent company of the radio station Mel and Christian worked for, has canceled their Hot 30 show, has suspended all advertising on air, AND has put a stop to all prank calls.

SCA chief executive officer Rhys Holleran said in a statement:

"First and foremost we would like to express our deep and sincere condolences to the family of Jacintha Saldanha for their loss. We are very sorry for what has happened.

As a leading commercial radio broadcaster, we must ensure that our internal processes and protocols are robust.

We don't claim to be perfect and we always strive to do better. We have initiated a detailed and rigorous review of our policies and procedures to inform any improvements we can make.

We are also providing support to our people who are deeply saddened by this tragic and unforseen event.

SCA and the hosts of the radio program have also decided that they will not return to the airwaves until further notice.

The Company has conducted a review of the process undertaken in the airing of the segment which has found that company protocols were adhered to.

Several attempts were made by the production team to discuss the segment with the hospital, but with no success.

The segment was referred to an internal review process which included internal legal review and authorisation was granted to broadcast.

The Company does not consider that the broadcast of the segment has breached any relevant law, regulation or code. The Company will fully cooperate with any investigations.

SCA is committed to upholding rigorous processes and broadcasting standards. The business is conducting a comprehensive review of company policies and processes."

Hmm, so it sounds like SCA would stand behind their DJs if Scotland Yard DID decide to pursue legal action… interesting.

Oh what an unfortunate, harrowing tragedy! Our hearts go out to all involved!

[Images via WENN/2Day FM.]

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19 comments to “Kate Middleton Hospital Radio Prank: The DJs SPEAK! Parent Company Releases Statement!”

  1. fid says – reply to this


    1

    Not sure what the laws are like in Australia but in Canada the individual must give consent to be on TV/Radio etc. so when they do these types of phone calls here before releasing it on the radio they must first get consent.

    I don't think there was anything malicious in what the DJ's did, they thought it would be a funny prank for a 30 second bit on the radio. But at the same time EVERYONE needs to be aware of the possible ramifications of their actions. They should have realized that anyone working in a hospital could get fired for releasing confidential information. Just like if they called a legal clerks office, or a school or a mental institution. Obviously the person who committed suicide had underlying issues but being a laughing stock and losing the career you've worked so long towards is something that would definitely put someone over the edge.



  2. 2

    A sad situation all around. While we still don't know why this poor woman killed herself, surely it had to be about deeper issues than this. This was just a silly prank that went horribly wrong in a way no one could have predicted. If not for this suicide, listeners would have been quite happy to have these DJ's try similar pranks - it seems a bit hypocritical to vilify them, and put the entire weight of this tragedy on their shoulders.

  3. chamber says – reply to this


    3

    I know that they had no ill intent but the main problem was this was pre-recorded and screened, so they had lots of time to make a better judgement call. Even if they could not of for seen the suicide , i think its pretty obvious that these nurses had a big chance of getting fired or being reprimanded at work for that prank.

  4. d says – reply to this


    4

    hasn't anyone suspected that the royal family probably had the nurse killed for having transferred the call and it is now being covered as a suicide?

  5. JoBeth says – reply to this


    5

    Well said. Fid.

  6. Michele says – reply to this


    6

    I am very, very sorry for this woman and her family. But I feel there is more going on here than what we know. I wonder how hard the hospital came down on this nurse, and what part that played in this tragedy? I also feel, sadly, that this woman was not stable and had other issues. This might have caused her to act as she did, but she wouldn't have (I don't think) on this alone. The DJs did what so many radio talk people do. Frankly, it was not malicious, is was silly, but not mean. The hospital should their share of the responsibility instead of passing everything off to the DJs. Were the staff prepped on how to handle Kates visit? I bet not. They should have been told the protocol on how to handle calls, visitors, etc. It seems now it's easier to blame the DJs than look elsewhere. Yes, what they did was silly, but all DJs do that, and I've heard many who are mean. These two were not. It's just so sad this had to happen.

  7. E says – reply to this


    7

    Re: d – In a way, yes. What I imagine is that they threatened and bullied Jacintha that she couldn't deal with all that pressure or that she already had some very hard problems before.But I do think the DJs should of thought it through a bit before. RIP Jacintha and her family are in my thoughts.

  8. 1995pandabear says – reply to this


    8

    What was the prank bout



  9. 9

    It's malicious because first off, they didn't respect the privacy of Kate. Yes she's a public figure, but when it comes to health issues that should be off limits until an official statement is made. With it being the early stages of the pregnancy any excess of stress can cause a miscarriage. What they did was disrespectful to Kate and Prince William. Were they really THAT impatient for an official statement? Now because of it a woman decided to take her life because she probably couldn't handle the magnitude of the ridicule and not to mention also (most likely) violation of patient confidentiality. I hope the ratings were worth it.



  10. 10

    My deepest sympathies are with Jacinthas families. But I also feel so sorry for the two DJs, especially after watching the video of one of their interviews, it's heartbreaking. It was a silly prank, not funny and they should have known someone could get in trouble. But never this and this is beyond their blame and control. They made the call but it was the decision of others to air it. And although I don't like prank calls I've heard radio stations attempt similar things, with the royal family too, so many times, it's just this time it worked.
    Watching the female DJ Mel talk was heartbreaking, that could so easily have been anyone who went along with a dumb idea with no ill intentions. The weight and guilt thats now on their shoulders, they are getting death threats and so much backlash, more so than was received by the nurses. I can't imagine what they're feeling, they should be held responsible for invasion of privacy and no more, the rest of it they can't be blamed for. So many lives are now ruined, so sad.



  11. 11

    Very sad, especially since the prank call was very lame. If you listen to it, it doesn't even come to the level of a Jerky Boys prank. Goes to show you that people are very fragile and very few people can laugh, especially at themselves. The DJ are off the air permanently. I'll wait for the autopsy so we can officially know what killed this nurse.

  12. Dd says – reply to this


    12

    I'm sorry for what happened to the nurse but i think the DJs should not be blamed for it! I feel sorry for them too! They were just messing around like every other radio host does so i dont see why people blame them for what happened!
    Yeah they made the wrong decision airing it but decidig to commit suicide only for that seems a bit strange! I think there where other factors involved in her death and they should investigate!



  13. 13

    Not that you "MAY have played a part in, but what you DID play a part in.



  14. 14

    this is all very sad and everything but if this woman killed herself over something so insignificant, she was just a time bomb waiting to go off…



  15. 15

    Re: d – no, I think that you are the only fool that suspects something that stupid.



  16. 16

    Re: Michele – I'm with you on this one. a stable person doesn't off themselves over a prank or the possibility of being fired. this was just the straw that broke the camels back for her. a shame she didn't get the help she obviously needed in time. my sympathies to her family and friends. the DJ's were just doing what they do. it was just the wrong prank at the wrong time and the wrong person answered the phone. no possible way to know something like this could happen. and maybe her suicide had nothing to do with the call. we'll never know.

  17. A says – reply to this


    17

    No one knows offcialy how she died or why. No one has spoken about her, what was her mental state before this. The hospital was very quick to place the blame solely on 2 dj's and have not even met with or offered counselling to the family of the nurse.
    Who is to blame? The hospital for surely coming down hard on the nurses, the media who most likely hounded them (but conveniently are keeping the blame off themselves) the british media are renound for it and ofcourse the radio company and ALL involved, they had no regards to the nurses when they put the call on air and what the ramifications would be for them, did they really think nothing would happen to them? Surely one would think 'hmm they could get fired for this' or 'everyone will know who they are and ridicule them' they knew and didn't care for the individuals, it was for ratings and shock value of 'hey we got through to Kates private nurse'
    I do feel for the dj's who have been bullied and had all the blame and pressure placed on them, to tell them it's their fault someone died is really very harsh and not fair, they're people too and their mental state should now also be protected.
    The sooner the media move on from this the better and perhaps lessons will be learned in the future, that the media are dealing with 'people' who are sensitive and vulnerable no matter their status. Have respect and some boundaries.

  18. RainbowBrite says – reply to this


    18

    "We may have played a part" no, you totally did. Even if she had other problems, it was the tip of the ice berg and stupid. Especially given their recently revealed history of distasteful pranks.

  19. Hankyhank says – reply to this


    19

    I don't think the DJs did anything wrong. Sorry to hear about the nurse but that was an action of a coward when you have children and a husband then decided to kill yourself is a very selfish thing to do. She wasnt a laughing stock, no one blame her to put through the call including the royal family. I am fighting for my life battling cancer and so are millions of people; and I dont have symphaty for people that commit suicide no matter what the reasons are. So, dont use this as an excuse and blaming on the DJs for making the calls. Take your own responsibility, i hope the nurse's family realize that and so are the scotland yard, etc.. No investigation needed for a coward and selfish act. My prayers are for all prople that affected by this, but ultimately I blame the nurse for killing herself, what a waste of life.