Australian royal prank show pulled off air permanently


The Southern Cross Austereo radio show whose prank targeting Prince William’s pregnant wife went awry has been taken off the air for good over the weekend the radio network announced. “The Hot30 Countdown” was suspended temporarily after the December prank, when the network expressed deep regret for the nurse who apparently committed suicide after routing through a call from the show’s DJs to the royal ward.

The show’s Facebook page directed listeners to the show’s replacement called “The Bump.”

An Austereo spokeswoman told AFP: “Mel and MC are still employed and on leave.” Austereo CEO Rhys Holleran said the network remained in contact with the two hosts.

“We look forward to Mel and MC returning to work when the time is right, in roles that make full use of their talents,” he said. “We will discuss future roles with them when they are ready.”

Austereo suspended prank calls by its stations and pledged at least $520,000 to help Saldhana’s grieving family. Greig and Christian also made a tearful televised apology.

An inquest heard that Saldanha was found hanged in staff accommodation at the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London and there were no suspicious circumstances over her death. Australia’s media watchdog has opened an investigation into the call. Scotland Yard also investigated the affair but according to Australian police, Greig and Christian are unlikely to face prosecution.