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Royal Prank DJs “Extremely Fragile”

December 9, 2012, 11:10 am Michael Crooks | WHO Magazine whomagazine

Radio prank victim's death leaves 2DayFM DJs in "extremely fragile" state

Royal Prank DJs “Extremely Fragile”
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The 2DayFM DJs whose London radio prank victim committed suicide on Dec. 6 feel like “a bus driver who’s hit a pedestrian,” a 2DayFM source tells WHO. “Michael and Mel are extremely fragile right now and receiving extensive counselling.”

Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who'd only been in the job for a week, were behind a Dec. 4 prank phone call to the London hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge, who was suffering acute morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy, was a patient.

Impersonating Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles in a pre-recorded hoax, the pair called King Edward VII Hospital and was put through to the Duchess’s ward by Jacintha Saldanha, 46, a nurse who was operating the switchboard. A nurse on the ward then revealed details of the Duchess’s condition to whom she thought was the Queen of England. The prank made world news and attracted widespread condemnation in England.

On Dec. 6, Saldanha, a mother of two children aged 16 and 14, was found dead of a suspected suicide.

Christian and Greig are “both shattered,” says the source. “They are receiving extensive psychological counselling.” They are also being “kept away” from the media reports of the story, which has garnered intense worldwide interest: “Both are currently being watched by colleagues who are most concerned for their well being.” Their twitter and facebook accounts were also taken down after they were bombarded by hate mail from around the world.

CEO Rhys Holleran



The CEO of 2DayFM, Rhys Holleran, is also "devastated", says the source: “He is beside himself with concern for his staff members and for the family of this poor woman. In his words, he is plain gutted.”

The source tells WHO that 2DayFM learnt of Saldanha’s death through a phone call from UK’s Daily Mail at 12.15am (Sydney time) on Dec. 8. In the hours following, the station was still airing promotional excerpts from the prank. “Because it was the middle of the night and the station is on automatic, it took a good couple of hours to mobilise those needed to physically pull the promos off the air,” says the source. “We were as horrified as anyone to discover that these had been running for this period.”

Meanwhile, questions are now being raised over the legality of the prank. In NSW, it is illegal to publish a private conversation that has been obtained using a listening device (though similar pranks have not been prosecuted in Australia in recent years). Still, the source says 2Day FM “firmly believe we have done nothing illegal” and will willingly work with the Australian Communications and Media Authority who announced today they are looking to investigate 2Day FM's prank call.

The station plans to reach out to Saldanha’s family at a more "appropriate" time. Says the source: “More information needs to come out to clarify what actually happened.” The DJs also plan to make individual statements "but not in this fragile state at present."

[RELATED: Nurse Who Took Prank Call At Duchess Of Cambridge's Hospital Found Dead

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8 Comments

  1. Allison12:03pm Monday 10th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    The majority of radio "celebrities" are cretins. Why can't we simply have music these days? Why must we be forced to listen to the drivel from these intellectually challenged cretins attempting to be funny. They aren't funny and it's embarrassing to listen to them.

    Reply
  2. Michael10:12am Monday 10th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    the problem with Australia is that life is so boring here that they can't help but to dig their noses into foreign public affairs! (look at yahoo aus. homepage: they are talking about manchester soccer club, I know that English people don't talk about Aussi football..Kate Middletown isn't australia princess, so australians don't care about the fact that brithish people have a sheer respect for the royal family, therefore it's ok for them to make fun at the british! why would two people make a prank call to an hospital at the other end of the world just to make fun at a nurse who they didn't know, in order to entertain themselves or the few people who are listening to their stupid show? why don't they do that with their own people? to their few local celebrities? if you wanna mess with people, mess with the people you know, not with strangers that you know nothing about their lives...that nurse probably got fired because she gave personal informations only to a person she thought was her queen, try to imagine her feelings when she was summoned to her boss office and were told that she was fired because the person she thought was the queen of her nation was in fact just a radio achor woman from a remote country trying to make fun at her, discrediting the personal that is working in that hospital in the process...she probably went from pride to disapointment and shame, and obviously destress and desparation...Aussies should get their own queen so they could make fun at her,

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  3. Michael10:12am Monday 10th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    the problem with Australia is that life is so boring here that they can't help but to dig their noses into foreign public affairs! (look at yahoo aus. homepage: they are talking about manchester soccer club, I know that English people don't talk about Aussi football..Kate Middletown isn't australia princess, so australians don't care about the fact that brithish people have a sheer respect for the royal family, therefore it's ok for them to make fun at the british! why would two people make a prank call to an hospital at the other end of the world just to make fun at a nurse who they didn't know, in order to entertain themselves or the few people who are listening to their stupid show? why don't they do that with their own people? to their few local celebrities? if you wanna mess with people, mess with the people you know, not with strangers that you know nothing about their lives...that nurse probably got fired because she gave personal informations only to a person she thought was her queen, try to imagine her feelings when she was summoned to her boss office and were told that she was fired because the person she thought was the queen of her nation was in fact just a radio achor woman from a remote country trying to make fun at her, discrediting the personal that is working in that hospital in the process...she probably went from pride to disapointment and shame, and obviously destress and desparation...Aussies should get their own queen so they could make fun at her,

    Reply
  4. Elana08:44am Monday 10th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    It is ridiculous that we are hitting back at these two DJs. No one could have anticipated such a tragic ending. As sad as the situation is, the hospital MUST take blame for placing a nurse who was clearly not well enough to look after herself, responsible for the well being of other patients. And to add to this, the infallible British media who have always done everything by the book need to take a good look at themselves before they point any fingers. In hindsight, one can only wonder if there were other reasons that the poor nurse took her life but it is easier to blame someone else rather than taking responsibility.

    Reply
  5. Jim Price07:13am Monday 10th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Look beyond the pair who played the prank and you'll see the 2Day heavies who continue to give air time to Sandilands and Jackie O...you'll also see the spinless public servant watch dogs at ACMA... And you'll also see that one of 2Day's partner stations, Mix106, has given a job to Yumi Stynes, the ex-Ten presenter who scored a cheap laugh at the expense of an Aussie war hero. How can you respect a network that encourages and cloisters people like this? And how can you not see that the real perpetrators of this tragic incident are the controversy-bent executives who gave the green light to the obnoxious prank?

    Reply
  6. Unknown11:17pm Sunday 09th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I can't believe why do these two idiots needs "extensive counselling"" ..I can't understand how come 2D FM radio has a policy to do on air live pranks call...while on other hand the cops are trying to stop general public from performing pranks.......

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  7. SuddenPull11:14pm Sunday 09th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I'm sorry, the two DJs are extremely distraught??? Let's all express sympathy for these morons who invaded the privacy of a hospital patient who happens to be a royal, publicly humiliated two fellow human beings all in the name of 'fun' and directly caused her death, left her two kids without a mother and were assured by the station's legal team that their conduct won't initiate a potential lawsuit?? There's so much stupid with this radio station, its management and everyone involved , I don't even know where to start but what stings the most is the fact that none of them will formally apologize for what's been done. Dirtbags.

    Reply
  8. Anon.03:23pm Sunday 09th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Says "the source"--i.e. says the expensive public relations firm hired by the radio station.

    Reply

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