There are many conversations to be had about the tragic death of Jacintha Saldanha, the King Edward VII nurse who took her own life last week, after she learned the “Queen” and “Prince Charles” that she patched through to Kate Middleton’s private ward were actually Australian radio DJs with the show 2DayFM. The pair, named Michael Christian and Mel Greig, gave an interview on the Australian show, “Today Tonight,” on which they explained that they never expected to make it all the way to Kate’s private nurse, who then told these DJs confidential medical information about the duchess’s condition. (She had been hospitalized with hyperemesis gravidarum, an acute form of morning sickness.) By their own description, the call was intended to be ridiculous: they spoke in posh British accents and barked like there were corgis in the background. ”The call itself was not malicious,” Christian said. “From start to finish, there was no harm intended.”
“The accents were terrible,” Greig explained. “You know it was designed to be stupid. We were never meant to get that far from the little corgis barking in the background – we obviously wanted it to be a joke.” Added Christian, “I suppose, you know, the joke was always on us, not anyone else. It wasn’t about trying to fool someone. I mean we just assumed that with the voices that we put on, you know, we were going to get told off and that was the gag – on us.”
The pre-recorded segment was first vetted by producers and lawyers before it aired. Although the royal family had not complained about the breach of security, Saldanha apparently could not live with herself. She allegedly took her own life in a London park on Friday morning. She is survived by her husband and two teenaged children; by all accounts, she was an excellent nurse.
We could talk about suicide prevention, warning signs for mental anguish, medical privacy, intrusion into celebs’ personal lives. I’m sure plenty of other conversations are being had on other blogs. But what I want to talk is the cruelty of radio show prank calls. Keep reading »