UK & World News
Kate Prank Call: 2Day FM Faces Backlash
A supermarket giant has pulled the plug on royal prank call radio station 2Day FM after the death of a nurse from the hospital that treated the Duchess of Cambridge.
Coles announced that it informed the station's management it would be removing all advertising from the station as soon as possible.
In a separate move, Australia's broadcasting regulator says it will be quizzing the owners of 2DayFM over the incident.
"We understand Australians are clearly angry and upset by what appear to be tragic consequences of the 2Day FM UK hospital prank,'' the supermarket said on its Facebook page.
"We have instructed 2Day FM to remove all Coles group advertising from the station.''
The radio presenters who made the prank call to the hospital have been taken off the air until further notice.
Mel Greig and Michael Christian were said to be "deeply shocked" by the tragedy, which has provoked an angry backlash against them on the internet.
The pair, who work for 2Day FM in Australia, and the radio station's parent company Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) decided together that they should stay off air.
The company said in a statement: "Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) and 2Day FM are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha from King Edward VII's Hospital and we extend our deepest sympathies to her family and all that have been affected by this situation around the world.
"Chief Executive Officer Rhys Holleran has spoken with the presenters. They are both deeply shocked and at this time we have agreed that they not comment about the circumstances.
" SoutSouuSCA and the hosts have decided that they will not return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy."
Nurse Jacintha Saldanha was found dead on Friday morning, days after receiving the prank call and putting it through to a nurse on Kate's ward.
Greig impersonated the Queen and Christian mimicked Prince Charles and they managed to elicit details about the pregnant Duchess' medical condition.
A fierce online storm erupted as soon as news of the nurse's death emerged, with both presenters bombarded by messages on Twitter and the radio station's own comment section deluged.
At the time, the station's website had still been promoting the video of the prank call but this was later removed.
Online critics called for the presenters to resign and some claimed they had "blood on their hands".
On the radio's comment section, Gordon Stanley wrote: "You presenters are a disgrace to your country, the media profession and society in general. This is one of the most inappropriate 'pranks' imaginable."
On Twitter, another critic wrote: "Your DJ's tried to get private information for a big joke and now the person who took the call has committed suicide. What is it still doing on the website? Sick."
Martin Duncan added: "Absolutely appalled at the death of #JacinthaSaldanha. Michael Christian and Mel Greig hang your heads in shame!"
Cazzy Chic said: "So sad. Let this be a lesson to us all. Your idea of a 'prank', may be the undoing of someone more fragile than you. RIP."
"Not so darn funny now is it? A British nurse is DEAD for the sake of a couple of cheap laughs. Shame on you!," wrote Kim Wilson.
An online petition calling for the pair to be sacked for "gross misconduct" has already attracted more than 1,300 signatures.
Greig and Christian have both deleted their Twitter accounts because of the onslaught.
The presenters had earlier issued an apology after making the call but also milked the publicity by claiming it was "the biggest royal prank ever".
"We thought we'd be hung up on as soon as they heard our terrible accents. We're very sorry if we've caused any issues and we're glad to hear that Kate is doing well," they said.
what do you think?
Would have been funny if the girl hadn't died. Very sad
I dissagree. It was a childish, invasive, unwarranted act carried out by a couple of no hopers desperate to increase their listening figures.
You need to take a good long look at yourself Tim.......
got way outta hand the prank johnathan ross and russel brand did was shocking also, but lucky for them nothing like this happened sometimes i watch x factor and i think to myself they put people through to auditions to sing knowing they are rubbish. i wonder if any of them have ever taken there lives afterwards being ridiculed. same with shows like jeremy kyle. shocking how people like to make others look like fools very sad
Can't blame the presenters. Pranks like this go on all the time in TV/radio/media etc..
I think that there is a chance that the blame lies at their feet. If they hadn't behaved like a couple of little children with their infantile prank, then there are good odds that an innocent, hard working nurse would still be alive.
Who else is there to blame?
Lorgar - why must somebody be to blame?
Johnny, what sort of insensitive idiot chooses a hospital, you know what those are, don't you, they are buildings with sick people in them, as a medium for a stupid prank ? At best, valuable staff time would have been wasted. And SPW, telephones don't make calls without human intervention.
Lorgar I think that we are too keen to find someone to blame every time something goes wrong. I was totally shocked, like everyone else, when i heard that this lady had killes herself. But, don't you think that sometimes things just build up and events then take on a whole momentum of their own. I do agree it was silly and childish, that it wasted a hospital's time and put innocent staff at risk of trouble from their bosses. But there are people on here saying that they hope the dj's commit suicide too - that seems more vindictive to me than a stupid prank that went wrong. What do you think?
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Youd have to ban progrommes like beadles about and dom jolly just in case a prank went wrong.tragically in this case it has.but she must have had a ticking of from the hospital managers for the breach of security.it might be this aspect that was the straw that that broke the camels back.how do we know that she wasnt threatened with the sack.
It always amazes me how people like Dom Joly and Jeremy Beadle were never physically assaulted when doing their shows. The amount of anger that Beadle in particular, sometimes generated in his "victims" was truly frightening. I have never really understood people who take pleasure in winding others up to that extent. For that reason, I never really enjoyed programmes of this nature..........
I see what your getting at shaun but this is a different kind of "prank". Beadle always turned up and had a laugh with the "victim" at the end, if you remember. This lady was left to suffer the consequences. Even the hospital managers saw what a strain it was, as it has been reported that they where giving her support, not "ticking her off". I agree Gordon, I never liked it but at least it was done with some sympathy eventually.
I hated Beadle's about because of the way it manipulated people too Gordon. I was always amazed that they could amke people so angry and everyone thought it was funny. I actually think that it's a good comparison as the hospital prank wasn't designed to stir up those strong emotins and make a fool of people. I do take the point about wasting hospital time and the potential to get staff into trouble with their bosses.
Hope girls family sue the ass off them
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Nowt changes eh? You still talk utter garbage!!
having worked for the health service.the likelihood is that she was disciplined for this or even suspended eventhough it wasn't directly her fault but the trust has to be shown to be doing something about it. this has turned into a tragic chain of events but to wholely put the blame squarely on the shoulders of these radio presenters is not right.afterall who's to say there wern't other things going on in her life. hearfelt sympathy to all those affected.
Sounds like your wrong about that Tom.
I agree with you Tom. I think something would have been said to her and cannot buy the support line at all. That has not been my nhs experience either
Apparently, a news report today said she was NOT disciplined or suspended, in fact the complete opposite. She was receiving support and help from her employers.
Yes, I heard that. Puts paid to the people saying that it was the disciplinary action that pushed her over the edge.
they said they not going to come out and say the royal family were furious, and the heads of the hospitals were looking deep into the matter, are they?
I do agree Ali, hardly likely to admit to putting on the pressure considering the tragic outcome
Of course they would say that now she is dead. If this hadn't have happened they'd be saying the complete opposite, wouldn't they?
I think the hospital should actually take some flak, especially with a royal in the building and making a nurse handle the switchboard instead of some sort of security, staff cost cutting again for the need of profit.
We'll never know the real truth even if thing were left behind, because the truth died with this unfortunate lady.I agree with ali and louisa, authorities can say whatever shows them in the best light. Things can and do get covered up.Hospital and security shortcomings brought about this tragic end.
The poor nurse thought that she would be disciplined in some way or at some point. It's very sad but also makes one angry that people such as the two DJ's feel they can impersonate an individual with the intent of deceiving someone to gain an advantage (i. e. confidential medical information about a third person) and see it as a prank. Even in Australia it must be a crime. Interesting to see if the authories treat their prank as such. The two should never be allowed to work again and the radio station (which presumably sanctioned the prank) lose it's broadcasting licence.
The djs weren't trying to get information if you read properly! They said they were expecting to get cut almost straight off!
Australia land of a very limited gene pool
Just a good reason for then to be charged for Treason!! What a limited gene pool for young aussies
prosecute them for treason a suitable for two two lowlife DJs
That's it! New laws. We must ban humour.
There's no denying that this has turned into a very tragic story. However, the prank started out as a humorous news item, the newscasters themselves laughed at it and no one appeared to be condemning the pranksters. Suddenly, now it's turned sour, the same people are crying out at the terrible deed these two carried out. I know it's a very sensitive case and everyone's sympathy is with the deceased family, but these two weren't being evil or malicious, just playing a prank. They could not have foreseen what happened, no more than ia person dying of a heart attack after someone jumps out and says 'boo'. I feel deeply for the family. I also feel for the two DJs who are now being vilified. If they are guilty, then so am I and so are all those people who laughed when the story of the prank first hit the News.