In the aftermath of wide public fury for the ‘royal prank’ that ostensibly led to embarrassing the royal family (who have come to take such things in good stead these days, seasoned tabloid fodder that they are) and the unimagined suicide of the nurse who took the prank call, Aussie dj’s Mel Greig and Michael Christian have decidedly kept a low profile, this despite calls for their immediate firing.
Nevertheless the contentious duo in a show of contrition agreed to be interviewed by Australia’s ‘A Current Affair’ where they came clean about their role in the prank and their deep grief in the wake of Kate Middleton nurse, Jacintha Saldanha.
Nevertheless what comes off most surprising about their interview with the Australian outlet is how the duo never actually expected their call to have ever be taken, let alone seriously in the first place. It is if in the first place they expected to be found out and scoffed and that in essence was their real aim, to come off as the Aussie ‘larrikin’ who has a habit of pulling punches solely for a good laugh and a wink and of course the Aussie spirit of never taking things too seriously, including the Royal family.
Reflected the duo during their first public outing since the incident:
“[We] just had the idea for just a simple harmless phone call . . . We thought . . . it was going to go for 30 seconds [and] we were going to be hung up on,” said Michael Christian.
Offered Mel Greig: “….we thought a hundred people before us would’ve tried it, we thought it was such a silly idea and the accents were terrible and not for a second did we expect to speak to Kate let alone have a conversation with anyone at the hospital. We wanted to be hung up on.”
She added, “These prank calls are made every day on every radio station in every country around the world and . . . no one could’ve imagined this to happen.”
During the interview, both dj’s are visibly seen crying as they recounted how they learned that Jacintha Saldanha — who transferred their call into the nurses’ station — had killed herself.
“There’s not a minute that goes by where we don’t think about her family and what they must be going through and the thought we may have played a part in that is gut wrenching,” Grieg added.
Southern Cross Austero, who happen to own the radio outlet, 2DayFm with whom the dj’s work for and who at present continue to stand by the two dj’s interestingly also offered the following via spokesperson Sandy Kaye:
“These poor kids [Greig and Christian] have done nothing wrong, and they’re being crucified by the world,”
“Surely, there’s a lot more to suicide than a prank call where a woman has [done nothing more than] put through a phone call,”
“Perhaps the hospital should have known about that. If that turns out to be the case and they knew about her fragile situation, then why would you leave her on the front line?”
True, nevertheless the question remains why the media outlet chose to attempt the prank in the first place, surely they must have understood it was in poor taste (despite best intentions and the Aussie vernacular of just having a good laugh at all things formal and high and mighty, hence the concept of the perpetual ‘larrikin.’) especially in light of Kate Middleton’s sickness and the grave situation that she found herself, lest not after all the recent scandal of her being bludgeoned by world press after photos of her topless appeared?
Which raises another question, have the royal family become synonymous with B grade celebrities to be perpetually knocked back for laughs or is this just the perpetual lowering of the tabloid bar that journalists and radio dj’s must resort to pranks devoid of real meaning and integrity simply to titillate a seen it all before audience….?
As of this morning, the duo’s show has now officially been cancelled.