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Royal hoax: Australian DJs ‘want to speak out’

2Day FM presenter Mel Greig. Picture: Getty

2Day FM presenter Mel Greig. Picture: Getty

  • by ARJ SINGH
 

THE DJs at the centre of the royal hoax call want to speak about the prank which preceded the suspected suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha.

Presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian have been off-air and receiving counselling since the death. They have suffered a barrage of criticism following the stunt, and Scotland Yard has contacted police in Australia about speaking to the pair.

The Australian radio station embroiled in the scandal said it is reviewing its broadcasting practices and will assist with any investigations.

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

Ms Saldanha, 46, apparently took her own life following the incident at the King Edward VII’s Hospital.

She answered the phone to the DJs, who pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles.

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. Greig and Christian have so far remained silent 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 and threatening messages on social media websites.

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.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority, which regulates radio broadcasting, confirmed it had received complaints, and said it was considering whether it should launch an investigation into whether the presenters breached the commercial radio code of practice.

Ms Saldanha’s family were being comforted by relatives and friends at home in Bristol.

A friend at the address said Ms Saldanha’s partner, Benedict Barboza, 49, and their teenage son and daughter, aged 14 and 16, were “very, very shocked and unhappy at the tragedy”.

 

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