Jacintha Saldanha case: Australia’s 2Day FM says tried to contact hospital


Jacintha Saldanha case: Australia’s 2Day FM says tried to contact hospital

Sydney: A Sydney radio station at the heart of the British royal prank call scandal on Monday said it tried to contact the London hospital five times to discuss what it had recorded before going to air.

Rhys Holleran, chief executive of Southern Cross Austereo which owns 2Day FM, said that nobody could have reasonably foreseen the consequences of what has been described by the hospital as an “appalling” hoax.

He said he was satisfied that the appropriate checks were conducted before the pre-recorded segment was broadcast.

“It is absolutely true to say that we actually did attempt to contact those people on multiple occasions,” Holleran told Fairfax radio.

“We rang them up to discuss what we had recorded.”

“We attempted to contact them on no less than five occasions,” he added. “We wanted to speak to them about it.”

With no receptionist on duty, Jacintha Saldanha, put a prank call through to a colleague who divulged details about Kate © AFP

Holleran did not say whether the broadcaster was given any response.

The prank call was vetted by lawyers before being aired to listeners in Sydney last week.

The hoax call, with 2Day FM presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian posing as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, was taken by mother-of-two Jacintha Saldanha, 46, at London’s King Edward VII Hospital.

With no receptionist on duty she put them through to a colleague who divulged details of Prince William’s wife Kate’s recovery from severe morning sickness.

Saldanha was later found dead, believed to have taken her own life, sparking a massive backlash against the radio station and the two presenters, who have gone into hiding and are undergoing counselling.

“No one could have reasonably foreseen what has happened,” said Holleran, adding however that the station was reviewing its actions.

“We think that’s an appropriate thing to be doing and we’ll do it,” he said.

DJs Mel Greig (L) and Michael Christian have been taken off air and are in hiding © Southern Cross Austereo/AFP

His comments came after Southern Cross Austereo held an emergency board meeting Sunday to discuss the growing furore, vowing to cooperate with any investigations.

“As we have said in our own statements on the matter, the outcome was unforeseeable and very regrettable,” company chairman Max Moore-Wilton said in a letter to the hospital’s chairman Lord Simon Glenarthur.

“I can assure you we are taking immediate action and reviewing the broadcast and processes involved.”

According to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, all Austereo staff were called to a meeting on Monday morning with


  1. Australia…Alan Jones, 2gb shock jok said, someone should assassinate/drown Prime Minister Gillard. That was worse than what the 2day fm kids done….Jones also said Gillard’s father died of shame and John Laws,”radio 2sm shock jock said she should be kicked to death etc etc etc etc, all because she and her Government introduced a carbon emission tax to combat climate change and encourage investment in renewable energy.

    Extreme weather events world wide, The climate itself is now the Gillard government and the climate scientists greatest advocate in their struggle to implement policies to combat climate change and try to limit the warming to 2 degrees. Both the Government and the scientists are doing ok in the polls considering the massive campaign to discredit both, led by the media and mining barons in Australia and other self interest empire’s like Koch Bros tea party etc, in America … coordinated right-wing campaign to turn the US public against Obama and the climate scientists ..

    8 May 2012 – Promoting integrity in the use of climate science in government … funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, are attacking Obama for his support on climate science ….. their efforts to discredit climate science. A coordinated right-wing campaign to turn the US public against renewable energy? . http://www.climatesciencewatch.org