Photo Credit: Caters
When radio deejays Michael Christian and Mel Greig prank-called the hospital where Kate Middleton was being treated for morning sickness, they had no idea that the joke would end in tragedy. During a visit to Australia's A Current Affair, the two deejays opened up for the first time about the suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who unwittingly divulged personal information about the Duchess of Cambridge to millions of listeners.
In the interview, the very emotional radio stars spoke about the prank call through tears.
"(We are) shattered, gutted, heartbroken, and obviously... incredibly sorry for the situation and what's happened," said Christian.
"There’s not a minute that goes by that we don’t think about the family and what they must be going through," said Grieg, who described hearing the news as "the worst phone call of my life."
As upset as they were, the two deejays also appeared to be in shock over how a "simple harmless prank call," in which Grieg impersonated Queen Elizabeth II, could have such terrible consequences. "We thought a hundred people before us would have tried it, and our accents were terrible -- we never even expected to speak to anyone at the hospital," said Christian. "It was innocent on our behalf, it was just something that was fun and lighthearted. And a tragic turn of events that I don't think anyone could have predicted or expected."
The duo, who said they'd done "hundreds" of on-air prank calls, also explained that the joke was supposed to be on them, not on Kate's nurses. "It was meant to be on our silly accents! That's where it was meant to end," said Greig, who expected the hospital staff to hang up on her immediately. "There was no malice on our behalf. It wasn't to agitate or offend at all," Christian agreed.
While the international media has been debating whether radio laws should be changed, or even whether Greig and Christian should face criminal charges, the deejays are just trying to cope with their own feelings of guilt. "I don't even want to think about going back on air, to be honest. I'm more worried about the family, that's where the focus should be," said Greig. "I've thought about this a million times in my head, that I've wanted to just to reach out to them and give them a big hug and say sorry. And I hope they're okay, I really do."
It was announced on Monday morning that Mel and Michael's show has been taken off the air, and that the station will no longer condone prank calls.