Who signed off on radio prank?
Many questions have been asked since the death of Jacintha Saldanha after a radio prank, but who okayed the call to go to air? LIFE LINE 13 11 14PT3M30S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2b7gh 620 349 December 11, 2012
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The Australian radio hosts behind the royal prank phone call have been criticised for breaking their silence on evening current affairs programs, as the British press ran extended coverage of their tearful apologies following the death of a British nurse.
Mel Greig and Michael Christian, the besieged presenters of 2Day FM's Hot 30 show, "escaped a tough grilling" on Seven's Today Tonight, according to the British newspaper The Daily Mail, which described the line of questioning as "soft and sympathetic".
"Grovelling" ... Michael Christian and Mel Greig. Photo: Channel Nine
The British press ran extensive coverage of the pair's carefully scripted interviews with Today Tonight and Nine's A Current Affair within minutes of them going to air on Monday night, including full transcripts of both interviews.
In the interviews, Greig and Christian sought to distance themselves from responsibility for the prank call to the King Edward VII's Hospital on December 4, in which they pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles and were put through to a nurse who spoke about the medical condition of the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge.
Greig and Christian spoke of being "shattered, gutted, heartbroken" by the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who is believed to have taken her own life. Mrs Saldanha took the radio hosts' initial phone call and, believing they were members of the Royal Family, put them through to another nurse.
"Shamed" ... Mel Greig. Photo: Channel Nine
The Daily Mail was critical of interviewer Clare Brady from Today Tonight, who was said to question the pair in a "soft and sympathetic fashion".
"At one point she said to Miss Greig: 'I feel in you Mel, that you're all but frozen, is that correct?'," The Daily Mail said.
"Miss Greig's mascara was running down her face as she tearfully recounted the events that have resulted in both of them being inundated with savage comments about their behaviour."
The Sun newspaper said the "shamed" pair's apologies were "grovelling".
The radio duo also came under fire on social media for breaking their silence on current affairs programs, rather than holding an open press conference.
"The prank DJs where too distressed to front a press conference but ok to tell their story to ACA. Please tell me they're not being paid," tweeted ?@clubwah.
@lint2015 wrote: "Hold a public press conference, make your statements. For all we know you could be accepting money to be interviewed by trash like TT & ACA."
Nine's Tracy Grimshaw said the broadcaster's interview was not paid for.
An ABC employee tweeted on Monday that 2Day FM had refused to conduct interviews with the public broadcaster.
"Seems 2Day FM isn't doing interviews on the ABC today," tweeted @jopuccini. "Commercial media, we're told, are advertisers. We hope they'll change their minds."
Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by phoning Lifeline 13 11 14; Mensline 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.