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Kate hoax callers DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian dropped from 2Day FM

28 JANUARY 2013

The Australian radio show behind the Kate Middleton hoax call prank has been dropped by 2Day FM, who will now broadcast a new show format to replace the slot that was once home to Michael Christian and Mel Greig

 

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The pair rang King Edward VII Hospital in December to find out details about Kate's pregnancy after the royal was admitted for extreme morning sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum. The stunt placed the centre under intense scrutiny over its privacy policy.

Events also took a tragic turn when it was revealed that a nurse involved in the call, Jacintha Saldanha, had taken her own life. The development led to the Sydney-based station being investigated by Australia's media leading watchdog team.

Although the station will assign its slot to new voices, it has been revealed that the network will remain in contact with its two former hosts. Chief executive Austereo Rhys Holleran said: "We look forward to Mel and Michael 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."

As well as suspending the programme, the broadcaster has stopped all prank call features and pledged to donate 500,000 Australian dollars to help Jacintha Saldanha's grieving family.

DJ's Michael and Mel also made a televised apology to the Saldanha family and the general public. Said to be "gutted" by the incident, the pair were in tears as they discussed the repercussions of their actions.

 

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Speaking on chat programme A Current Affair, Mel said: "I've thought about it a million times. I want to reach out to them and just give them a big hug and say 'Sorry'. I hope they're OK. I really do.

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

Michael added: "It is nothing more than a tragic turn of events that no one could have predicted and, you know, for the part that we played, we’re obviously incredibly sorry."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also released a statement saying that they were "deeply sadded" by the news.

An official statement from St James's Palace read: "Their Royal Highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well at all times by everybody at King Edward VII Hospital. Their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha's family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time."