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Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:19 pm

3:17AM Tuesday Dec 11, 2012

LONDON: The nurse who took the prank call of two Australian radio DJs asking questions about the Duchess of Cambridge’s health is suspected to have killed herself.

Jacintha Saldanha, a 46-year-old mother of two, was found near the King Edward VII Hospital where Kate spent three nights earlier this week being treated for pregnancy-related vomiting.
Britain's Prince William stands next to his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge

"Deeply saddened" ... Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. Photo: AP

Two crews of ambulance officers tried to revive her but she died at the scene and police said her death was unexplained but not suspicious.
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The 2Day FM presenters who made the prank call, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, have been taken off the air and told not to comment. Both have deleted their Twitter accounts, after angry users accused them of having "blood on your hands".

A statement from 2Day FM’s parent company, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), said it was ‘‘deeply saddened by the tragic news’’.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge issued a statement saying they were "deeply saddened" to learn of her death and their thoughts and prayers were with her family. They said they had received excellent care at the hospital.

A palace spokesperson told the BBC they had made no complaint to the hospital over the prank call.

The hospital issued a statement confirming that Ms Saldanha had recently been the victim of a hoax call: "The hospital had been supporting her through this difficult time."

Ms Saldanha, married with two teenage children, had worked there for four years and was regarded as an excellent nurse. She stayed in London when working, but otherwise lived with her family in Bristol.

Hospital chairman Lord Glenarthur said, "This is a tragic event. Jacintha was a first-class nurse who cared diligently for hundreds of patients during her time with us. She will be greatly missed."

Ms Saldanha was found at 9.35 Friday morning London time. She was reportedly working on reception when two presenters from radio station 2Day FM called in pretending to be the Queen and Prince Philip. She is thought to be the person who took the call and put it through to the duchess's ward, where a second nurse disclosed private details of Kate’s condition.

The Telegraph newspaper in London reported that Michael Christian, the Sydney DJ who pretended to be Prince Charles, apologised earlier in the week but carried on tweeting about it, including a tweet that said, "MORE on the #royalprank after 7.30 tonight."

During the call, DJ Mel Greig pretended to be the Queen and Christian was in the background aping Prince Charles. Greig had rung reception and asked to speak to "my grand-daughter Kate". Ms Saldanha, thinking she was speaking to the Queen, said, "Oh yes, just hold on ma'am" before putting the call through to a duty nurse.

In reports about her suspected suicide, British newspapers and BBC television ran large smiling photos of the Australian hoaxers. They said the DJs and the station had continued to advertise the stunt world-wide.

The Daily Mail wrote, "today Christian was continuing to boast about the prank 'making international headlines' on Twitter".

The King Edward, which is the Royal family’s hospital of choice and the birthplace of princes William and Harry, was deeply embarrassed by the call and at the time accused the DJs of "journalistic trickery". Earlier this week it said it was considering legal action.

The hospital said Ms Saldanha had not been disciplined or suspended over her handling of the call.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said on Friday, "It is deeply saddening that a simple human error due to a cruel hoax could lead to the death of a dedicated and caring member of the nursing profession."

Distressed nurses were photographed holding on to each other when entering the hospital today.

A statement from 2Day FM’s parent company, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), said: ‘‘Chief executive officer Rhys Holleran has spoken with the presenters; they are both deeply shocked and at this time we have agreed that they not comment about the circumstances.

"SCA and the hosts have decided that they will not return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy.’’

Ms Saldanha's family issued a statement saying they were mourning the loss "of our beloved Jacintha" and asking that the media respect the family's privacy.

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:25 pm

If she was 'first class', surely she would have known that 'The Queen' or "Prince Charles" do not have Australian accents?! It was a stupid prank worthy of a 6 year old and another indication of how human standards and morals have dropped around the world. I hope the 2 people recieve the punishment they deserve.

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:54 pm

Tony.. wrote:If she was 'first class', surely she would have known that 'The Queen' or "Prince Charles" do not have Australian accents?! It was a stupid prank worthy of a 6 year old and another indication of how human standards and morals have dropped around the world. I hope the 2 people recieve the punishment they deserve.


Yes I agree but by the same token you can't help but wonder about three things:

1. How the two nurses were so easily fooled when receiving the prank call.

2. The call itself was taped and later put to broadcast (not once but twice) on a Sydney radio station without the prior consent of the nurses. My understanding is that this is a breach under Australian Broadcasting laws.

3. Was the Nurse mentally disturbed ?

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:04 pm

British Media stations broadcast the part of the hoax call where the Nurse spoke to the Djs thinking it was The Queen but the part where the call was put through to Kate's ward was not aired so the British Media have some part to play in this Nurse's death for broadcasting any of the hoax call.

Of course the Nurse was not mentally disturbed but obviously totally embarrassed about the incident to the point where she couldn't live with her self.
The Nurse came from India where her culture is completely different than it is say of a British Nurse so her reaction would obviously be worse for her.

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:21 pm

Bodie, It doesn't matter what her culture was. It's a hell of a thing to do, to throw away your life especially leaving behind your children, husband and family. Therefor she had to have been mentally disturbed wouldn't you say ?

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:52 pm

Robt wrote:Bodie, It doesn't matter what her culture was. It's a hell of a thing to do, to throw away your life especially leaving behind your children, husband and family. Therefor she had to have been mentally disturbed wouldn't you say ?


Oh yes i do agree.
To end your life especially when you have children is a crazy thing to do.

I don't think she was mentally disturbed, just cause of her background, she couldn't deal with the embarrassment it brought on her.
Its very likely any westernized Nurse would have been embarrassed but saw the funny side and shrugged it off.
To this Nurse, she must have felt it brought shame not just on her but for her family as well.

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:22 pm

The nurse must have had serious mental health issues to take her own life.we have all done things that we are embarrassed about ! but to take your own life because of a wind up shows some serious problems but it is very sad for her and her poor kids that they will have to live with this all there lifes.as far as the prank goes they (the D J's) have nothin to answer for these phone pranks have been on radio for years and i bet most people have had a very good laugh at them.

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:36 pm

I think the vilification of the two DJs in question is ludicrous. It was a prank call, and a harmless one at that, in theory. There was nothing remotely malicious in the intent of the DJs; they were pratting about and someone took the bait.

The call that everyone is saying was "vile" and "hateful" was as follows:

Receptionist: Hello, good morning, King Edward VII Hospital.

Greig (Queen voice): Oh hello there, could I please speak to Kate please, my granddaughter.

Receptionist: Oh yes, just hold on ma’am.

Greig: Thank you.

Christian: Are they putting us through?

Greig: Yes.

(Laughter)

Christian: If this has worked, it’s the easiest prank call we have ever made. Your accent sucked, by the way, I just want you to know.

(Laughter)

Greig: I’m not used to playing 80-year-olds. (Phone connects) Kate, my darling, are you there?

Nurse: Good morning, ma’am, this is the nurses station, how may I help you?

Greig: Hello, I’m just after my granddaughter Kate. I wanted to see how her little tummy bug is going.

Nurse: She’s sleeping at the moment and has had an uneventful night, and sleep is good for her, as we speak. She’s been given some fluids to re-hydrate her because she was quite dehydrated when she came in. But she’s stable at the moment.

Greig: OK. Well, I’ll just feed my little corgis then (barking in the background). So when is a good time to come and visit her? Because I’m the Queen so I’ll need a lift down there. Charles! When can you take me to the hospital, Charles?

Christian (pretending to be Prince Charles): When will it be all right to come down and see her? Maybe in the morning or something? If that’s OK?

Nurse: I would suggest that any time after nine o’clock would be suitable, because the doctor will be in in the morning and we’ll just be getting her freshened up in the morning. I would think any time after nine.

Christian: Wonderful. Is Wills still there or has he gone home? I haven’t spoken to him yet.

Nurse: He went home at about half past nine last night. Actually, probably about nine o’ clock last night.

Christian: OK, Lovely. But they’re all OK, everything’s all right?

Nurse: Yes, she’s quite stable at the moment. She hasn’t had any retching with me since I’ve been on duty. And she has been sleeping on and off.

Christian: Wonderful.

Nurse: I think it’s difficult sleeping in a strange bed as well.

Christian: Yes, of course, it’s hardly the palace, is it!

Greig: It’s nothing like the palace is it, Charles? Oh, when are you going to walk those bloody corgis?

Christian: Mumsy, I’ll go and take the dogs outside.

Greig: I need to go and visit Kate in the morning. My dear, thank you so much.

Nurse: You’re very welcome.

Greig: Thank you, bye.

Christian: Goodbye.


Quite how the DJs could have foreseen what was going to happen is anybody's guess.

Prank calls and practical jokes have been a part of entertainment for sixty or more years, and to my knowledge no-one has ever committed suicide as a result of one. So, please tell me, how this could have been predicted?

As has been pointed out elsewhere, the joke was obviously the straw that broke the camel's back with regards to the nurse. Quite clearly there must have been other issues that led to the suicide. I'm not saying it isn't tragic; of course it is. But rarely does one solitary event lead to a suicide.

Last night I wrote that we should remember that we are talking to other humans when we type on here, and that we should remember that insults etc obviously can merge with other events and make life a misery. And I stand by that. But we also can't go through life tredding on eggshells "just in case", There has to be a middle ground. If a woman walks into me on the street, and I tell her to "watch where she's going", should I really have to worry that my terse comment might send her over the edge on a day when her cat also died and she went bankrupt?

The vitriolic comments about the DJs in question has probably come about due to the current hatred for all things media related in the UK following the phone-hacking scandal, the Saville scandal etc. Yes, we have to take responsibility for our actions, but there are only so many outcomes of a scenario that we can predict, and the suicide of the nurse was not one of them. Does this mean we should now ban shows like Punk'd, the kids shows that have elaborate set-ups, and re-runs of Beadle's About and candid Camera? Or how about someone who gave permission for their video to be shown on You've Been Framed ten years ago, but is now suffering from bipolar disorder and so the video might tip them over the edge?

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:49 pm

Thanks poormadpeter, Have a look at this one -








by Michael Lallo



Austereo responds to prank-turned-tragedy



The CEO of the company that owns embattled radio station 2DayFM has defended the presenters involved in the royal prank phone call, saying there was no way they could have foreseen the tragic outcome of their actions.

British nurse Jacintha Saldanha, a 46-year-old mother of two, was found dead three days after she connected two 2DayFM DJs to a nurse on the ward of the Duchess of Cambridge, believing them to be the Queen and Prince Charles. Police are not treating Ms Saldanha's death as suspicious and numerous British media outlets have labelled it a suicide.
Austero CEO Rhys Holleran.

Couldn't be foreseen

Rhys Holleran, CEO of Southern Cross Austereo, said the presenters behind the call, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, were "completely shattered" by the nurse's death.
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The radio station has pulled the pair off air, he said as a mark of respect.

Mr Holleran refused to specify whether the nurse’s permission was sought before the segment aired, or at what point the company obtained legal advice.
Under fire ... radio presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian.


He described the nurse's death as ‘‘a tragic event that could not have reasonably been foreseen ... we are confident we haven’t done anything illegal’’.

Austereo has already had two licence conditions imposed upon them: one relating to decency following fellow presenter Kyle Sandilands’ description of a journalist as a ‘‘fat slag’’ and one relating to the protection of children following a segment where a teenage girl was hooked up to a lie detector and asked about her sex life.

Holleran would not say if Austereo was now concerned about losing its broadcasting licence.

He said the company had expressed its regret in a statement but had not contacted the nurse’s family directly, though he would not ‘‘rule out’’ doing so later.

Earlier on Saturday, Southern Cross Austereo issued a statement which said: "SCA and the hosts have decided that they will not return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy.

"Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) and 2Day FM are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha from King Edward VII's Hospital and we extend our deepest sympathies to her family and all that have been affected by this situation around the world.

"Chief Executive Officer Rhys Holleran has spoken with the presenters, they are both deeply shocked and at this time we have agreed that they not comment about the circumstances. SCA and the hosts have decided that they will not return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy."

Ms Saldanha earlier this week answered a call to the hospital from Greig and Christian posing as the Queen and Prince Charles. She was taken in and passed the call to the ward nurse.

The pair were given confidential details on the condition of the Duchess of Cambridge, who was being treated for acute morning sickness.

"We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call ...," hospital chief executive John Lofthouse told reporters on Friday afternoon, confirming her death.

Earlier in the week, Mr Lofthouse described the prank as "foolish" and said the hospital would review its telephone protocol as a result. Ms Saldanha was not disciplined over the incident.

He described Ms Saldanha, married and with two children, as a "first-class nurse who cared diligently for hundreds of patients".

"Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much-loved and valued colleague. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with her family and her friends," he said.

A brief statement from relatives said Ms Saldanha's family was "deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved Jacintha" and asked for "privacy at this difficult time".

News of Ms Saldanha's death was acknowledged by the royal family.

"Their royal highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well at all times by everybody at King Edward VII Hospital, and their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha's family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time," said a statement issued by St James's Palace.

A royal aide confirmed to Sky News that no complaint was lodged with the hospital following the prank.

Greig and Christian apologised for their "lighthearted" prank, but have been bombarded with online abuse for their stunt and have since disabled their Twitter accounts.

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:58 pm

poormadpeter wrote:I think the vilification of the two DJs in question is ludicrous. It was a prank call, and a harmless one at that, in theory. There was nothing remotely malicious in the intent of the DJs; they were pratting about and someone took the bait.

The call that everyone is saying was "vile" and "hateful" was as follows:

Receptionist: Hello, good morning, King Edward VII Hospital.

Greig (Queen voice): Oh hello there, could I please speak to Kate please, my granddaughter.

Receptionist: Oh yes, just hold on ma’am.

Greig: Thank you.

Christian: Are they putting us through?

Greig: Yes.

(Laughter)

Christian: If this has worked, it’s the easiest prank call we have ever made. Your accent sucked, by the way, I just want you to know.

(Laughter)

Greig: I’m not used to playing 80-year-olds. (Phone connects) Kate, my darling, are you there?

Nurse: Good morning, ma’am, this is the nurses station, how may I help you?

Greig: Hello, I’m just after my granddaughter Kate. I wanted to see how her little tummy bug is going.

Nurse: She’s sleeping at the moment and has had an uneventful night, and sleep is good for her, as we speak. She’s been given some fluids to re-hydrate her because she was quite dehydrated when she came in. But she’s stable at the moment.

Greig: OK. Well, I’ll just feed my little corgis then (barking in the background). So when is a good time to come and visit her? Because I’m the Queen so I’ll need a lift down there. Charles! When can you take me to the hospital, Charles?

Christian (pretending to be Prince Charles): When will it be all right to come down and see her? Maybe in the morning or something? If that’s OK?

Nurse: I would suggest that any time after nine o’clock would be suitable, because the doctor will be in in the morning and we’ll just be getting her freshened up in the morning. I would think any time after nine.

Christian: Wonderful. Is Wills still there or has he gone home? I haven’t spoken to him yet.

Nurse: He went home at about half past nine last night. Actually, probably about nine o’ clock last night.

Christian: OK, Lovely. But they’re all OK, everything’s all right?

Nurse: Yes, she’s quite stable at the moment. She hasn’t had any retching with me since I’ve been on duty. And she has been sleeping on and off.

Christian: Wonderful.

Nurse: I think it’s difficult sleeping in a strange bed as well.

Christian: Yes, of course, it’s hardly the palace, is it!

Greig: It’s nothing like the palace is it, Charles? Oh, when are you going to walk those bloody corgis?

Christian: Mumsy, I’ll go and take the dogs outside.

Greig: I need to go and visit Kate in the morning. My dear, thank you so much.

Nurse: You’re very welcome.

Greig: Thank you, bye.

Christian: Goodbye.


Quite how the DJs could have foreseen what was going to happen is anybody's guess.

Prank calls and practical jokes have been a part of entertainment for sixty or more years, and to my knowledge no-one has ever committed suicide as a result of one. So, please tell me, how this could have been predicted?

As has been pointed out elsewhere, the joke was obviously the straw that broke the camel's back with regards to the nurse. Quite clearly there must have been other issues that led to the suicide. I'm not saying it isn't tragic; of course it is. But rarely does one solitary event lead to a suicide.

Last night I wrote that we should remember that we are talking to other humans when we type on here, and that we should remember that insults etc obviously can merge with other events and make life a misery. And I stand by that. But we also can't go through life tredding on eggshells "just in case", There has to be a middle ground. If a woman walks into me on the street, and I tell her to "watch where she's going", should I really have to worry that my terse comment might send her over the edge on a day when her cat also died and she went bankrupt?

The vitriolic comments about the DJs in question has probably come about due to the current hatred for all things media related in the UK following the phone-hacking scandal, the Saville scandal etc. Yes, we have to take responsibility for our actions, but there are only so many outcomes of a scenario that we can predict, and the suicide of the nurse was not one of them. Does this mean we should now ban shows like Punk'd, the kids shows that have elaborate set-ups, and re-runs of Beadle's About and candid Camera? Or how about someone who gave permission for their video to be shown on You've Been Framed ten years ago, but is now suffering from bipolar disorder and so the video might tip them over the edge?




Spot on :smt023

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:09 pm

I do actually think that no prosecution should be taken out on the two Djs, as they said how can anyone have foreseen that the Nurse was going to commit suicide over this hoax call.

But when someone plays a prank like this then they have to live with the consequences of their actions.

There is quite a funny clip going around the internet from South America involving a lift.

As funny as these clips are, if someone has a heart condition and dies of shock then the people who play this prank have to take some sort of blame.

Here are the two clips if anyone hasn't seen them.

Ghost in a lift.
http://youtu.be/Fw48FdM_Ji8

Coffin in a lift.
http://youtu.be/E6GKHyrkO6g

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Bodie wrote:I do actually think that no prosecution should be taken out on the two Djs, as they said how can anyone have foreseen that the Nurse was going to commit suicide over this hoax call.

But when someone plays a prank like this then they have to live with the consequences of their actions.

There is quite a funny clip going around the internet from South America involving a lift.

As funny as these clips are, if someone has a heart condition and dies of shock then the people who play this prank have to take some sort of blame.

Here are the two clips if anyone hasn't seen them.

Ghost in a lift.
http://youtu.be/Fw48FdM_Ji8

Coffin in a lift.
http://youtu.be/E6GKHyrkO6g


Yeah seen these a few weeks ago lets be honest here they are soooooooooo funny !!!

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:30 pm

Bodie wrote:I do actually think that no prosecution should be taken out on the two Djs, as they said how can anyone have foreseen that the Nurse was going to commit suicide over this hoax call.

But when someone plays a prank like this then they have to live with the consequences of their actions.

There is quite a funny clip going around the internet from South America involving a lift.

As funny as these clips are, if someone has a heart condition and dies of shock then the people who play this prank have to take some sort of blame.

Here are the two clips if anyone hasn't seen them.

Ghost in a lift.
http://youtu.be/Fw48FdM_Ji8

Coffin in a lift.
http://youtu.be/E6GKHyrkO6g



Not the DJ's but rather the radio station persons who put it to air. AS I said in my OP, this was taped and then aired not once but twice without prior consent of the Nurses. The DJ's have been getting death threats over this.

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:53 pm

Yes, the issue here is, of course, about consent. With Beadle, Candid Camera etc, consent would have been obtained before the items were aired. But radio is very much a live medium whereas TV is not anymore (in the main). That said, consent should have been obtained before the repeats - I'm not sure if the call was done live on air or not. But prank calls have been part of live radio for years, and this one was really quite an innocent effort. I'm not sure that the DJs should be linked with previous issues associated with the station either unless they were involved with them directly.

With regards to the heart attack and shock factor pranks, they are different entity - a heart attack could theoretically be classed as foreseeable outcome if, in fact, heart attacks are caused by shocks. I know we sometimes get a shock and then say "you could have given me a heart attack", but this is a figure of speech and, as far as I'm aware not based in fact. The NHS website lists many causes of heart attacks, but shock is not one of them.

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:55 pm

Robt wrote:
Bodie wrote:I do actually think that no prosecution should be taken out on the two Djs, as they said how can anyone have foreseen that the Nurse was going to commit suicide over this hoax call.

But when someone plays a prank like this then they have to live with the consequences of their actions.

There is quite a funny clip going around the internet from South America involving a lift.

As funny as these clips are, if someone has a heart condition and dies of shock then the people who play this prank have to take some sort of blame.

Here are the two clips if anyone hasn't seen them.

Ghost in a lift.
http://youtu.be/Fw48FdM_Ji8

Coffin in a lift.
http://youtu.be/E6GKHyrkO6g



Not the DJ's but rather the radio station persons who put it to air. AS I said in my OP, this was taped and then aired not once but twice without prior consent of the Nurses. The DJ's have been getting death threats over this.


The abuse the DJs are getting over this is quite ridiculous.

I mean all these people who are giving them abuse, what if one of the DJs commits suicide? How would they feel? Hypocrites.

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:01 am

It was pre-recorded...






A Current Affair TV host Tracey Grimshaw has called her interview with the 2Day Fm presenters 'intense' describing how the pair's entourage filled the room.



2Day FM radio hosts Mel Greig and Michael Christian have spoken of being "shattered, gutted, heartbroken" by the death of a nurse they spoke to during a prank phone call last week.

In an interview on A Current Affair which screened on Monday night, Christian defended the pair's role in the broadcasting of the prank call.

"It's not up to us to make that decision (broadcasting the call). It goes to other departments to make the call."


A teary Greig agreed, saying there was no way they could've predicted what happened.
Advertisement

"We don't get to make those decisions. Our job is to record and get the audio ... and act upon as we're told."

Greig told Today Tonight of the sorrow the pair are going through.

"If we played any involvement in her death then we're very sorry for that. And time will only tell."

"We couldn't foresee what was going to happen in the future."

Christian told A Current Affair the idea for the call came in a brainstorming meeting with the rest of the show's team.
Interview ... Grimshaw snapped at the 2Day FM Goulburn Street, Sydney offices on Monday.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/ ... z2EgWmhNLc

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:33 am

intheghetto wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:
Quite how the DJs could have foreseen what was going to happen is anybody's guess.

Prank calls and practical jokes have been a part of entertainment for sixty or more years, and to my knowledge no-one has ever committed suicide as a result of one. So, please tell me, how this could have been predicted?

As has been pointed out elsewhere, the joke was obviously the straw that broke the camel's back with regards to the nurse. Quite clearly there must have been other issues that led to the suicide. I'm not saying it isn't tragic; of course it is. But rarely does one solitary event lead to a suicide.

Last night I wrote that we should remember that we are talking to other humans when we type on here, and that we should remember that insults etc obviously can merge with other events and make life a misery. And I stand by that. But we also can't go through life tredding on eggshells "just in case", There has to be a middle ground. If a woman walks into me on the street, and I tell her to "watch where she's going", should I really have to worry that my terse comment might send her over the edge on a day when her cat also died and she went bankrupt?

The vitriolic comments about the DJs in question has probably come about due to the current hatred for all things media related in the UK following the phone-hacking scandal, the Saville scandal etc. Yes, we have to take responsibility for our actions, but there are only so many outcomes of a scenario that we can predict, and the suicide of the nurse was not one of them. Does this mean we should now ban shows like Punk'd, the kids shows that have elaborate set-ups, and re-runs of Beadle's About and candid Camera? Or how about someone who gave permission for their video to be shown on You've Been Framed ten years ago, but is now suffering from bipolar disorder and so the video might tip them over the edge?


The difference here is the context that the prank was played by the Australian DJs. Yes, crank calls have existed in comedy for a very long time, but doing an innocent one like say calling a pizza parlor and ordering something other than pizza is different than impersonating real people, and unsuspectingly getting other real people to compromise their jobs by asking for private information about yet another REAL extremely high profile person. In this case a person who's already tabloid fodder simply because of marrying into the royal family. The reason why this prank was intended to be so funny was because it was supposed to be exposing very personal medical (and in some ways scatological) information from a person that has to constantly fight for privacy, combined with the 'naughtiness' of getting personal information about a royal family member. I understand how and why the DJs were looking for laughs, but it was the perfect storm of comedy backfires with some pretty horrible consequences. Whether or not the nurse had a history of mental illness, the point is that very unfortunately this crank call had an unforeseen hand in driving her to the edge. I actually feel bad for these DJs as I just think that they were doing what they do, which under usual normal circumstances is school-yard humor that's shrugged off in a few minutes. But they did play with fire a bit here and got burned in a big way. I don't think that their was any willful intent and as I said before, I'm not a big fan of this kind of humor but I really hope these two people can get through this, they must be absolutely destroyed right now.


I think you miss the point of the prank. The joke was in pretending to be the queen and prince charles. It's quite likely that the DJs in question had no clue that they would not be questioned by either the receptionist or the nurse as to their identities (the woman pretending to be the queen isn't questioned as to her identity at all, the transcript shows the receptionist going solely by voice recognition) - there was more security at my local NHS hospital when I rang up to see how my Dad was when he was in there. They certainly did not expect to find out personal information, and I'm sure they never expected or wanted to find out in-depth details of how much the woman was puking.

The fact that no disciplinary procedures was being taken by the hospital is mystifying - the receptionist's job is to make sure of security, not to assume that someone is the queen without even asking.

Either way, the results could not be foreseen. Should we blame Elvis if he had kissed a woman in the audience of a show, told the audience that he caught the "creeping crud" only to find out the woman he kissed was a suicidal hypocondriac who went home and committed suicide? That sounds ludicrous, of course. But it is an equivalent bizarre chain or events that we are talking about here.

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:21 am

poormadpeter wrote:Either way, the results could not be foreseen. Should we blame Elvis if he had kissed a woman in the audience of a show, told the audience that he caught the "creeping crud" only to find out the woman he kissed was a suicidal hypocondriac who went home and committed suicide? That sounds ludicrous, of course. But it is an equivalent bizarre chain or events that we are talking about here.


The only thing ludicrous about what you said is comparing the outcome of this hoax call to Elvis kissing a woman in the audience and saying that he got the 'creeping crud'.

What the DJs did, regardless if they never meant any harm was stupid, childish and thoughtless.
It was also thoughtless of the British media playing the interview of the telephone conversation of the Nurse taking the call.

Should the Djs be prosecuted cause the Nurse committed suicide? Of course not. Their punishment is that they have to live with what happened.

It was a tragic unforeseen outcome to a prank.

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:26 am

Bodie wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:Either way, the results could not be foreseen. Should we blame Elvis if he had kissed a woman in the audience of a show, told the audience that he caught the "creeping crud" only to find out the woman he kissed was a suicidal hypocondriac who went home and committed suicide? That sounds ludicrous, of course. But it is an equivalent bizarre chain or events that we are talking about here.


The only thing ludicrous about what you said is comparing the outcome of this hoax call to Elvis kissing a woman in the audience and saying that he got the 'creeping crud'.

What the DJs did, regardless if they never meant any harm was stupid, childish and thoughtless.
It was also thoughtless of the British media playing the interview of the telephone conversation of the Nurse taking the call.

Should the Djs be prosecuted cause the Nurse committed suicide? Of course not. Their punishment is that they have to live with what happened.

It was a tragic unforeseen outcome to a prank.


My point was not that there was a similarity in what happened, but that people cannot always foresee the consequences of their actions. No-one anywhere could have foreseen an Aussie-accented impression of the Queen would not be questioned by a hospital, anymore than Elvis could have foreseen the scenario I described above. Yes, the prank was stupid and childish, but thoughtless? Come on. What seems to be missed here is that the joke wasn't on anyone. It was just a couple of people fooling around. No-one said, let's play a prank on X, no-one expected the hospital to hire such an inept receptionist either. Did she not think the Queen might have a direct dial number to the ward? The most thoughtless thing about the whole escapade was probably that they wasted the 5 minutes of the time of a nurse who had better things to do. And the thing they should have done, but didn't, was inform the nurse at the call "hey, you've had a practical joke played on you". But the likelihood is that they were still in shock in it going as far as it had.

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:35 am

Who believes [despite the official statement put out] that the London hospital did not reprimand the poor woman?

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:59 am

What the DJs did was silly but I cannot understand how such a prank could have such terrible consequences. It's sad for everyone, but the prank was not malicious in intent and the suicide response seems so out of proportion with what happened that I assume the nurse had more deep-rooted problems.,

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:09 am

I'm not immune to the humour of prank calls. When done cleverly, they can be really funny. But, this example was ill advised from the start. A pregnant Kate was in hospital at the time and no one really knew whether it could turn more serious in that early stage of pregnancy. What if she had been in worse condition than we were being told and had miscarried? Making a prank call about a sick pregnant woman was just dumb. Yes, the joke was more about posing as the Queen than mocking Kate, but the hope was always to get through to the ward, so that's a limp excuse.

That said, the DJs should not be prosecuted because the outcome certainly couldn't have been foreseen. Their regret is also no doubt genuine.

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:29 am

Spot on TJ. Prank calls can be funny but directed at Hospitals, Medical wards etc forget it, there's too much at stake. The whole scenario is really sad and first time pregnancy is no joy ride at 8 or so weeks. Too much damage has already been done. Let's hope it stays at that.

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:09 am

Yes but you are (except perhaps poormadpeter) all overlooking one very important point: The issue of taping telephone conversations without the two nurses knowledge and consent.

My understanding is that it is unlawful, per the Australian Telecommunications Act, to record, let alone broadcast, a conversation without gaining the other parties prior consent. Just on that basis alone, I feel that the extremely naive "DJ's" should be facing charges. Having said that. there were more members of the commercial radio broadcast (who put the tape to air) were also involved in the prank and they too should be facing charges.

And as for gaining access to privileged information by way of fraudulent impersonation of a potentially entitled person, there would have to be a law proscribing such acts?

This is an example of why there is a real need for such regulation to be enforced (in this country) by the Australian Broadcast Authority including suspension of the Radio Station's licence.

Why should not electronic media broadcasters (not just australia as in this case but other countries) be held directly and seriously responsible for the consequences of their actions?

Re: Nurse who took prank call is found dead

Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:44 am

Yep we must eliminate any humour in life.

How many other people succumbed to the suicide disease that day in the UK.