Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

2Day FM radio DJs prepare to break silence over nurse Jacintha Saldanha's suicide

2 Day FM radio presenters Mel Greig, left, and Michael Christian made the prank call to the hospital (AP/APP/Southern Cross Austereo Sydney)
Jacintha Saldanha is thought to have committed suicide after the radio station hoax call to the Duchess of Cambridgeshire's hospital (Met Police/PA)
Spuds-u-like - Prince William and Kate Middleton as created by children's TV programme Small Potatoes (BBC)

The Australian radio station embroiled in the royal baby hoax scandal has said it is reviewing its broadcasting practices and will help with investigations into the suspected suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha.

The owners of 2Day FM spoke out after British police confirmed officers had contacted their Australian counterparts.

Presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who made the prank call that duped Ms Saldanha into helping reveal details about the Duchess of Cambridge's health, have also expressed a desire to speak about the tragedy.

Ms Saldanha (46) apparently took her own life after the incident at the King Edward VII Hospital.

Scotland Yard have contacted police in Sydney and it is understood they may wish to interview the two DJs, who present a show on the Australian station.

A spokeswoman for the station's parent company, Southern Cross Austereo, said the presenters want to speak out about Ms Saldanha's death.

“They have expressed a desire to speak.

“We haven't ascertained when they're ready for that and how we're going to organise that, but they certainly want to,” the spokeswoman said.

Ms Greig and Mr Christian have so far remained tight-lipped after the incident, and are receiving “intensive psychological counselling” to deal with the tragedy, The Australian newspaper said.

The pair are on indefinite leave from the radio station, and|have been bombarded with abusive messages on social media sites.

Scotland Yard have “touched base” with Australian police.

A post-mortem examination is due to be held this week and an inquest opened and adjourned at Westminster Coroner's Court, Scotland Yard said.

The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Meanwhile, the Duke of Cambridge pulled out of attending the British Military Tournament last night so that he can spend time with the Duchess as she recuperates after receiving treatment in hospital for severe morning sickness.

On Saturday night, William commented to guests at a charity function about the extent of his pregnant wife's illness.

Attending the Winter Whites Gala in aid of homeless charity Centrepoint, he wryly observed that its name should be changed to reflect the fact she had been suffering night and day.

The Duke, who is a patron of the charity, did not make any reference to the apparent suicide of Saldanha.

Meanwhile, Austereo's chairman, Max Moore-Wilton, replied to a letter from Lord Glenarthur, chairman of the King Edward VII's Hospital, in which he called for the “truly appalling” broadcast to “never be repeated”.

In his reply, Mr Moore-Wilton described the events of the past few days as “tragic”, but added: “As we have said in our own statements on the matter, the outcome was unforeseeable and very regrettable.”

Background

Jacintha Saldanha was pronounced dead on Friday morning at staff accommodation close to the hospital. She had answered an Australian radio show’s hoax call and, believing they were members of the Royal Family, put them through to another nurse who described Kate's condition in detail. Ms Saldanha is originally from Mangalore in south-west India. Her devastated family were being comforted by relatives and friends at their terraced home at Greystoke Avenue, Southmead, Bristol.

Radio station 2Day FM has become a byword for ever more outrageous stunts perpetrated in the name of entertainment, including, in 2009, subjecting a 14-year-old girl to a lie detector test during which she revealed she had been raped. Recently, the Australian Communications and Media Authority reprimanded one of the station's DJs, Kyle Sandilands, for branding a female journalist "a fat slag" and describing a Pakistani girl born with additional limbs as "spider baby".

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz