Royal hoax call: Australian RJs apologise to Indian nurse's family

Royal hoax call

Two Australian radio hosts who made a hoax call to an elite London hospital treating Prince William's pregnant wife Kate today apologised, as they tearfully spoke of being "shattered, gutted, heartbroken" over the death of an Indian-origin nurse caught up in the prank.

Radio station 2Day FM presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian said they were devastated by the news of 46-year-old Jacintha Saldanha's death, according to media reports here.

When asked how they reacted when told of the death of Saldanha, the mother of two, both DJs broke down in tears.

While Christian said he was "shattered, gutted, heartbroken", Greig replied it was "gut wrenching", the worst phone call of her life. "Our deepest sympathies are with the family and the friends (of Saldanha)," Christian said.

"It came into my head that I just wanted to reach out to them (the family), give them a big hug and say sorry. I hope they're OK, I really do," Greig said.

The two presenters were interviewed by Channel Nine and the Seven Network.

Greig and Christian posing as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles made the call which was received by Saldanha at London's King Edward VII Hospital.

She put them through to a colleague who divulged details of the pregnant Kate's health conditions. Saldanha was subsequently found dead under mysterious circumstances.

According to 'The Age', their partial transcript pre-recorded interview with A Current Affair, will be screened tonight.

The host Tracey Grimshaw asked who came up with the idea for the prank call.

"It was just the team sitting down before the show just had the idea for just a simple harmless phone call," Christian said.

"... when we thought about making a call, it was going to go for 30 seconds. We were going to be hung up on, and that was it," Christian said.

... contd.

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