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Australian radio hosts who made prank call to Kate Middleton hospital taken off air over nurse's death

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Jacintha Saldanha is thought to have committed suicide after the radio station hoax call to the Duchess of Cambridgeshire's hospital (Met Police/PA)

Jacintha Saldanha is thought to have committed suicide after the radio station hoax call to the Duchess of Cambridgeshire's hospital (Met Police/PA)

Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton

The Duke of Cambridge leaving King Edward VII Hospital in central London after visiting his wife

The Duke of Cambridge leaving King Edward VII Hospital in central London after visiting his wife

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) pose with four-year-old Maeve Low as they tour the Rolls-Royce Seletar Campus during the Diamond Jubilee tour at Seletar Aerospace Park on September 12, 2012 in Singapore.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) pose with four-year-old Maeve Low as they tour the Rolls-Royce Seletar Campus during the Diamond Jubilee tour at Seletar Aerospace Park on September 12, 2012 in Singapore.

Pool

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first child

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first child

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is given flowers by a young girl as she attends a cultural event in Queenstown on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore.  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is given flowers by a young girl as she attends a cultural event in Queenstown on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.

Chris Jackson

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is given a gift as he attends a cultural event in Queenstown on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore.  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is given a gift as he attends a cultural event in Queenstown on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.

Chris Jackson

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge tours the Rolls-Royce Seletar Campus on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge tours the Rolls-Royce Seletar Campus on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.

Chris McGrath

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge listen to a speech during their tour of the Rolls-Royce Seletar Campus on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge listen to a speech during their tour of the Rolls-Royce Seletar Campus on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.

Chris McGrath

The Duchess of Cambridge meets well wishers during a visit to Queenstown in Singapore, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke  of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The Duchess of Cambridge meets well wishers during a visit to Queenstown in Singapore, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Chris Jackson

Prince William and his wife Kate

Prince William and his wife Kate

Britain's Prince William, left, and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tour Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012.

Britain's Prince William, left, and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tour Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012.

Britain's Prince William, left, and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tour Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012.

Britain's Prince William, left, and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tour Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012.

Stephen Morrison

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their first engagement, an orchid-naming ceremony, in Singapore, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their first engagement, an orchid-naming ceremony, in Singapore, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Danny Lawson

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Far- R) attends the welcome ceremony on arrival at the Istana during the Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Far- R) attends the welcome ceremony on arrival at the Istana during the Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012.

Chris McGrath

The Duchess of Cambridge attends an orchid-naming ceremony during the first engagement in Singapore, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The Duchess of Cambridge attends an orchid-naming ceremony during the first engagement in Singapore, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Danny Lawson

Photographers photograph an orchid named in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales at Singapore Botanical Gardens ahead of a visit by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.

Photographers photograph an orchid named in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales at Singapore Botanical Gardens ahead of a visit by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.

Chris Jackson

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge leave Singapore Botanical Gardens after a visit on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge leave Singapore Botanical Gardens after a visit on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge leave Singapore Botanical Gardens after a visit on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge leave Singapore Botanical Gardens after a visit on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.

Chris Jackson

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smiles as she views an orchid named in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales at Singapore Botanical Gardens on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smiles as she views an orchid named in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales at Singapore Botanical Gardens on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.

Chris Jackson

The Duchess of Cambridge visits a cultural fair at Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park

The Duchess of Cambridge visits a cultural fair at Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park

Pippa Middleton, the sister of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, watches a quarterfinal match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Marin Cilic of Croatia at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Pippa Middleton, the sister of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, watches a quarterfinal match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Marin Cilic of Croatia at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Charles Krupa

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Kate Middleton and Prince William are married by the Archbishop of Canterbury

Kate Middleton and Prince William are married by the Archbishop of Canterbury

Spuds-u-like - Prince William and Kate Middleton as created by children's TV programme Small Potatoes (BBC)

Spuds-u-like - Prince William and Kate Middleton as created by children's TV programme Small Potatoes (BBC)

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Jacintha Saldanha is thought to have committed suicide after the radio station hoax call to the Duchess of Cambridgeshire's hospital (Met Police/PA)

The Australian radio presenters responsible for the hoax call to King Edward VII’s Hospital have been removed from the air until further notice.

News of the death of Jacintha Saldanha broke in the early hours of Saturday morning in Australia. Executives from 2Day FM conferred during the night and at 5.30am Australian time the radio station announced that the two DJs responsible for the hoax call which Ms Saldanha answered, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, were being stood aside.



The radio station and its owner, the Australian media group Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), released a statement saying that they were “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.”



They went on to say that the company’s chief executive, Rhys Holleran, had spoken with the two DJs, who were “deeply shocked and at this time we have agreed that they not comment about the circumstances”.



The statement added: “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.”



The radio station this week apologised for “any inconvenience” caused by the prank, but had sought to capitalise on the worldwide publicity it generated, replaying extended clips of the call over the airwaves and on its website.



Mr Christian, who attempted to impersonate Prince Charles in a crude mock British accent, promised further discussion of the prank on his Twitter account, which was taken down after news broke of Ms Saldanha’s death. There were immediate threats against, and condemnation of, the DJs on social media.



The Australian media regulator, ACMA, said on Thursday that it had received complaints about the call by the station, which is currently the subject of two five-year endorsements on its licence for breaches of broadcasting rules.

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