Radio show behind royal hoax cancelled

2013-01-28 22:06

Sydney - The Australian radio show behind a hoax phone call to the London hospital where the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was being treated has been officially cancelled.

The show and the two DJs behind the prank in December were widely condemned after the death of a nurse who answered the phone and helped the DJs get confidential information about the former Kate Middleton's health.

The "Hot 30" programme was taken off air following the death of the nurse, Jacintha Saldanha, and the Australian AP reported on Monday that Southern Cross Austereo, the parent company of radio station 2DayFM, announced the programme had been formerly cancelled.

The AAP quoted Southern Cross Austereo Chief Executive Rhys Holleran as saying DJs Michael Christian and Mel Greig will go back on the air.

"We look forward to Mel and MC returning to work when the time is right, in roles that make full use of their talents," Holleran said in a statement on Monday.

The DJs impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and her son, Prince Charles, as they phoned London's King Edward VII hospital in the early hours of 4 December to ask about the condition of the Duchess of Cambridge, who had been hospitalised there after suffering from severe morning sickness.

The DJs' shaky upper-crust accents were apparently enough to fool Saldanha, who put them through to a colleague who in turn described the details of Kate's condition.

The call went viral and was broadcast the world over.

But the incident took a darker turn after Saldanha's body was found hanging in her room three days after the prank.

It was an apparent suicide that many have assumed was related to the stress from the call.

Greig and Christian apologised in emotional interviews on Australian television, saying they never expected their call would be put through.

  • gwilym.howes - 2013-01-29 08:08

    Well, I would expect the pathologically PC Aussies to react like this, but I think it is pathetic. This was a funny show, and this was a funny prank. The nurse could not have committed suicide over something this small unless there were much bigger issues in her life, or she was seriously flaky. Blaming the show is just a way of shifting the focus away from the real cause. Excessive touchy-feely PC censoring is doing its best to kill real humour and the risque side of human behaviour.

      greggail.garnie - 2013-01-29 10:36

      They abused a very powerful communication tool to trivialise a serious and private matter. This is simply bullying under the guise of entertainment. They lacked the foresight and intelligence to fully comprehend the consequenses of their assinine behaviour (malady of all bullies). If anything they were out to hit the big time in radio ratings and bugger the consequences. So they deserve what they get, but the victims of their abuse (bullying), deserve our support and a clamp down on such abuse.

  • sharon.houghton.984 - 2013-01-29 10:23

    Funny prank yes to some, but if you were on the receiving end and it caused a horror result like the original prank did, you would no doubt be the one crying. Diffierent story then hey, perhaps you would even ask for compensation! Humour is fantastic and loved by many and long may it carry on, BUT they went one step to far - as they said themselves it was supposed to be cleared before going on air which they didn't do and therefore they are wrong!! It's a shame someone had to die before people sat up and thought about what they were doing!!!!

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