Aus pranksters apologise for Kate joke

2012-12-06 10:30

Sydney - Sydney radio station 2Day FM on Thursday hailed "the biggest royal prank ever" after two of its presenters got through to a nurse treating Prince William's pregnant wife Kate at a London hospital.

The embarrassing hoax on Tuesday made worldwide headlines and was condemned by the private King Edward VII's Hospital, which said it took "patient confidentiality extremely seriously".

Presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who posed as the Queen and Prince Charles, apologised after an uproar in Britain.

'Worst English accents in the history of radio'

"We were very surprised that our call was put through. We thought we'd be hung up on as soon as they heard our terrible accents," they said in a statement.

"We're very sorry if we've caused any issues and we're glad to hear that Kate is doing well."

But the station was also making the most of the publicity, headlining a story on its website "Biggest Royal Prank Ever".

"With some of the worst English accents in the history of radio, the Summer Hot30's MC and Mel managed to convince the staff at Duchess, Kate Middleton's hospital in London that they were the Queen and Prince Charles," it said.

"In a prank that they never even imagined would work, MC and Mel called the private King Edward VII Hospital where Kate is staying, put on their best (yikes!) Queen and Prince Charles accents and were asked to be put through to Kate's room.

"To MC and Mel's absolute shock they were put straight through to a nurse on Kate's ward."

The pair were connected to a nurse treating Kate and given an update on her condition, including that she had not experienced any recent "retching".

In the background of the call, in which the pair affected upper-crust accents, another member of the radio show can be heard barking in an attempt to impersonate one of the Queen's corgis.

A line had been crossed

The hoax divided opinion on the broadcaster's website on Thursday.

"Good one. We are amused. A bit of harmless fun," said one listener, identified only as Jeff G.

"I reckon HRH Prince Charles would have had a bit of a laugh when he heard it. Pity there's so many sad sacks who can't see the lighter side of a couple of Aussies taking the piss out of the Poms."

But others were less amused, saying a line had been crossed.

"There is nothing funny about duping hard-working healthcare professionals or abusing a pregnant woman's right to privacy. Royal or not," said Emily Quiggin.

Julie Mango said: "Your actions have me feel ashamed as an Australian.

"I feel sorry for the staff you involved in your mindless prank, they will obviously be disciplined and could I guess even lose their jobs over this."

Kate is in hospital suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness that affects about one in 200 pregnant women.

News of her pregnancy has ended the feverish speculation about a new royal heir that began immediately after the couple's lavish wedding in April 2011.

The baby will be third in line to the throne.

Listen to the 2Day FM prank call here:


  • lablue.phoenix - 2012-12-06 10:52

    Hahahaha, classic!

      rejeanne.nel.33 - 2012-12-08 08:50

      You realise that this poor nurse is going to get fired. don't think that is funny

  • tilovonbrandis - 2012-12-06 12:11

    We are all people, no more no less. As long as some sad sacks defend the system and support the differentiation of people due to their "blood line", we the people will be oppressed by "high" society. How will we ever be racially integrated when we still support classes in society!

      marius.j.rensburg.3 - 2012-12-06 13:57

      Ag for heavens sake ... just sit down before you give yourself a heart attack.

  • adrienne.bateceruti - 2012-12-07 08:47 that brought a smile to my face.

  • leon.lipschitz - 2012-12-07 18:28

    Oh yea now the nurse involved committed suicide. Nice one Hope the two pranksters are happy Some people don't realize the consequences of what they do Pranks can and do backfire with devastating consequences Just listening to whack head Simpson in the mornings illustrates this Pranks can and do cause a lot of hurt because of what is said and done

      delish7564 - 2012-12-07 22:52

      Leon this nurse was the one who took the initial call but not the one who disclosed any details, but in any event, this tragic outcome is anything but funny. These Radio presenters should be ashamed of themselves, certainly very unprofessional behaviour :(

  • charm.bell - 2012-12-08 08:10

    its not a joke or a prank if it takes a life, the two of you will have this on your head for the rest of your lives. May God forgive you both. I just wonder what you would have said if it was one of your family members that died. very sad state of affairs. :-(

  • sonja.b.bouwer - 2012-12-11 12:25

    and now you radio station are responsible for this ladies death. shame on you is this now also a yoke

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