Death prompts calls for sacking of radio hosts

Sat, Dec 8, 2012, 00:00

The two Australian radio show hosts whose hoax call apparently precipitated the suicide of the hospital nurse who took it have been bombarded with Twitter messages calling for their sacking.

Last night, such was the volume of anger and abuse being directed at Mel Greig and Michael Christian that they deleted their Twitter accounts.

Other Twitter users vented their feelings after news emerged of nurse Jacintha Saldanha’s death, many calling for Greig and Christian’s sacking over the incident.

One user, Alison Hassell, told Greig: “If you have any kind of conscience or morals . . . Right about now you should be typing your resignation.” Scott Ashworth tweeted: “You scumbag, hope you get what’s coming to you!”

Another user, Michael Hird, wrote: “I hope you’re happy now. The receptionist you rang has COMMITTED SUICIDE! You have blood on your hands now!”

Greig also received what appeared to be threats on the social networking site.

Costas Loizou swore at the presenter and ended his message: “I might start calling your mum and leaving messages . . . in fact expect one on xmas day.”

Other users directed abuse at Christian. Justine Daniel told him the hoax was a “sick joke” and added: “Hope you’re banished from being on air forever.”

As news emerged yesterday of Ms Saldanha’s death, the 2Day FM website was still boasting of the hoax and urging people to listen to replays. However, three hours later, it too was removed. It was “the biggest royal prank ever,” the station had proclaimed.

On the website, the duo laughed and joked about their prank. Giggling, Greig said: “They were the worst accents ever and when we made that phone call we were sure 100 people at least before us would have tried the same thing.”

Sitting beside her in what appeared to be their studio, Christian added: “We got through and now the entire world is talking.”

The pair, who began hosting the nightly chart show earlier this year, were clearly delighted with the amount of publicity they received.

Greig, whose Twitter profile proclaimed: “I co-host the Hot30 Countdown and Hot30 TV, I attempted to race around the world on the Amazing Race Australia and I have a half-decent rack”, has continued to tweet about the global reaction to the prank over the past few days.

Earlier, Christian wrote on the site: “Just a show of hands . . . Who’s heard/seen our #RoyalPrank?”

In their earlier apology for the call, the presenters said: “We were very surprised that our call was put through. We thought we’d be hung up on as soon as they heard our terrible accents. We’re very sorry if we’ve caused any issues and we’re glad to hear that Kate is doing well.”

They continued to promote their action until Ms Saldanha’s death.