UK & World News

  • 28 January 2013, 14:13

Australia: Royal Prank Call DJs To Keep Jobs

The Australian radio DJs who made an infamous hoax call to the hospital treating the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge will not be sacked, the network has announced.

Austereo had placed hosts Mel Greig and Michael Christian on leave following the prank call, which resulted in details of Kate's morning sickness being revealed on air.

The Indian-born nurse who transferred the call to the Duchess' ward, Jacintha Saldanha, was found dead three days later, triggering a huge backlash against the pair.

The duo received death threats over the call - during which they posed as the Queen and Prince Charles - and the Hot 30 show they hosted has been taken off air permanently.

But an Austereo spokeswoman said: "Mel and MC are still employed and on leave."

And the network's chief executive Rhys Holleran said it remained in contact with the two hosts.

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

"We will discuss future roles with them when they are ready."

Austereo suspended prank calls by its stations and pledged at least Aus$500,000 (332,000) to help Mrs Saldhana's grieving family. Greig and Christian also made a tearful televised apology.

An inquest heard that Mrs Saldanha was found hanged in staff accommodation at the private King Edward VII's Hospital in central London and there were no suspicious circumstances over her death.

The mother-of-two left three notes, one of which reportedly criticised colleagues over her treatment at the hospital.

Australia's media watchdog has opened an investigation into the call. Scotland Yard also investigated the affair but according to Australian police, Greig and Christian are unlikely to face prosecution.

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