Australian hoax call DJs dropped from show after nurse's death

Chris Parsons

The two Australian radio presenters who made the hoax call to the King Edward VII private hospital have been dropped from their show in the wake of the death of Jacintha Saldanha.

Mel Greig and Michael Christian, hosts of 2DayFM's 'Hot 30 Countdown' evening show, were the DJs who made the prank call to the hospital two days ago, where they pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles.

The station gained huge publicity from the stunt, while the pair described the incident as 'the easiest prank call ever made' shortly afterwards.

The prank call infuriated hospital bosses however, who threatened legal action.

Following the hoax, a radio station spokesperson apologised for any 'inconvenience' caused by the call.

A statement made by the station in the immediate aftermath of the hoax said: "2Day FM sincerely apologises for any inconvenience caused by the enquiry to Kate’s hospital.

"The radio segment was done with the best intentions and we wish Kate and her family all the best."

Today both Greig and Christian had deleted their accounts on Twitter.

Mr Christian's latest tweets had continued to boast about the call under the hashtag #royalprank, although due to the time difference these posts were made hours before the news of Ms Saldanha's death was revealed.

Ms Greig had also retweeted messages with the #royalprank hashtag to her 9,000 followers hours before her account was shut down.

Both of the presenters had received angry messages from Twitter users in the wake of Ms Saldanha's death.

In a statement on Friday evening, the radio station's owners said: "Southern Cross Austereo 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.

"SCA 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."