11 Dec 2012

Australian prank call DJs face media

5:00 pm on 11 December 2012

The Australian radio presenters at the centre of the royal phone call prank gave a tearful apology in their first interview since a nurse who took their call was found dead.

Mel Greig and Michael Christian from the Sydney station 2Day FM called a London hospital posing as the Queen and Prince Charles, and got information about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge's condition from another nurse - which they then broadcast.

Nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who answered the call from the pair before passing the call to a duty nurse, was found dead on Friday in an apparent suicide.

Prerecorded interviews were broadcast on two Australian networks on Monday night, in which the presenters apologised for their actions, saying they were devastated by the news of Mrs Saldanha's death.

"There's not a minute that goes by that we don't think about that family and what they must be going through, and the thought that we may have played a part in that is gut-wrenching," Mel Greig said.

The ABC reports the radio network has terminated the pair's show and and suspended prank calls across the network, while all advertising remains withdrawn until further notice.

Meanwhile, Jacintha Soldanha's brother believes she died because of overwhelming shame. Naveen Soldanha told The Daily Mail in London she was a "proper and righteous person" who would have been devastated about what happened.

Radio station 'did not check with UK hospital'

The London hospital that treated Prince William's pregnant wife, Catherine, says 2DayFM did not check with them before the hoax was broadcast, AAP reports.

The Sydney station said it had tried to contact King Edward VII's Hospital five times to discuss the prank call. But a hospital spokesperspm said, "Following the hoax call, the station did not talk to anyone in hospital senior management or anyone at the company that handles our media inquiries."

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge have sent their condolences to the Soldanha family.