Thursday 14 December 2017

Duchess hoax call: Australian DJs axed in wake of nurse suicide

Michael Christian and Mel Greig
Michael Christian and Mel Greig

Two Australian DJs who made a hoax call to a hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge have been axed by their radio station

2 Day FM presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian have been dumped from their nationally syndicated show in Australia, the Hot 30.

Bosses from parent company Southern Cross Austereo announced on Facebook that the pair would be replaced by a new “interactive” show, The Bump, hosted by another presenter, Angus O'Loughlin.

But two Hot 30 producers also involved in the prank, Ben Harlem and Emily Mills, have reportedly escaped the axe, posting on Twitter their involvement in the new show.

The programme was taken off air after nurse Jacinta Saldanha, 46, took her own life in December, following the furore over the on-air prank.

Mrs Saldanha was a nurse at King Edward VII hospital, West London, where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for severe pregnancy sickness.

During the hoax call, the nurse transferred the DJs, believing they were the Queen and Prince of Wales, to a colleague who described in detail the condition of the Duchess of Cambridge during her hospital treatment for severe pregnancy sickness.

The mother-of-two, from Bristol, was found hanging in her room at a nurses’ accommodation block at the King Edward VII Hospital in London a few days later.

The two presenters, who have received death threats, posed as the Queen and the Prince of Wales during the prank call and obtained private details of the Duchess’ medical condition.

They subsequently made tearful public apologies on television but have been off air since and have received counselling. They have not publicly commented since.

Scotland Yard have asked prosecutors to consider whether any potential offences were committed.

Austereo have not publicly commented about the new show.

Andrew Hough, Telegraph

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