Royal hoax DJs’ show cancelled in wake of nurse suicide

The Australian radio show behind the prank call to the Duchess of Cambridge’s hospital last December has been replaced on air by its Sydney-based broadcaster, 2Day FM.

Note: This article is from the Guardian.


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Royal hoax DJ’s show cancelled in wake of nurse suicide” was written by Alison Rourke in Sydney, for guardian.co.uk on Monday 28th January 2013 04.51 UTC

The Australian radio show behind the prank call to the Duchess of Cambridge’s hospital last December has been replaced on air by its Sydney-based broadcaster, 2Day FM. A new programme, hosted by a different DJ, will fill its nightly slot.

The Hot 30 programme, hosted by DJs Michael Christian and Mel Greig, was taken off air following the death of the nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who had forwarded the pair’s prank call to the Duchess’s room at the King Edward VII hospital in central London early last month. Three days later, Saldanha, 46, was found hanged in her apartment in the nurse’s quarters.

During the call, in which the DJs pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles, the nurse caring for Kate Middleton revealed personal information about the Duchess’s condition relating to a severe form of morning sickness.

The prank call sparked international outrage against the radio station, which had not gained consent from the nurses involved for their voices to be broadcast before putting the prank call to air.

Southern Cross Austereo, which owns 2Day FM, said while Christian and Greig’s time slot had been replaced with a new show, the pair remained employed by the station and were on leave.

“We look forward to Mel (Greig) and MC (Christian) returning to work when the time is right, in roles that make full use of their talents – we will discuss future roles with them when they are ready,” said Southern Cross Austereo chief executive Rhys Holleran.

Since the programme was taken off air in December, a music-based show without a host DJ has been playing in its timeslot.

In December the Metropolitan police submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution service to decide whether any criminal offence had been committed in connection with the death of Saldanha.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which regulates commercial radio stations, launched its own investigation into whether 2Day FM had breached the Commercial Radio Code of Practice. ACMA has the power to revoke the station’s licence or to impose conditions on how it operates.

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