One of the DJs at the center of the royal hoax call scandal that led to the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha was back on air 2/11. In the now-infamous prank, Christian and co-host Mel Greig were put through to the hospital ward where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for morning sickness after pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles. Christian’s voice was heard on Fox FM but he did not identify himself. The company was quick to deny that it had arranged for the DJ to ‘sneak’ back on air.
The Australian pair’s show on Southern Cross Austereo’s 2Day FM in Sydney was pulled after Saldanha, who put the call through at Kind Edward VII Hospital, committed suicide after being chided for the mistake. “I don’t think the organization was trying to hide anything,” a spokeswoman for the network told The London Evening Standard. “His return was never going to be the subject of a bells and whistles-type announcement.”
Rhys Holleran, Southern Cross Austereo CEO, added: “We are happy to have Michael back on air. We have always supported our talent returning to work when appropriate and today marks that occasion for MC. We look forward to welcoming Mel Greig back when the time is right.”
Said Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is representing Saldanha’s family: “I’m very surprised that one of the individuals involved in this should have been allowed back to work considering the fact that we still don’t have a full report back from the Australian regulator about the responsibility of the DJs in respect to the case. It flies against the statements of contrition that the public have received from the owners of the Australian station.”