News Column

Aussie Pranksters Laugh Off Anger at Kate Call

Dec. 6, 2012

The Australian radio station behind the hoax phone call that managed to fool the London hospital where the duchess of Cambridge is being treated for acute morning sickness on Thursday laughed off criticism of its actions.

"The radio segment was done with the best intentions and we wish Kate and her family all the best," Sydney's 2DayFM said on Twitter.

No formal apology appeared on its website and hosts Mel Greig and Michael Christian boasted of pulling off the "Biggest Royal Prank Ever!"

The pair marvelled that venerable King Edward VII Hospital was duped by their call.

"Mel and MC never imagined their prank would even work, now it's EVERYWHERE!" the station enthused.

"I cannot imagine how those *terrible* accents made it past switchboard. Only the Corgis sounded genuine," 2DayFM added.

Posing as Queen Elizabeth, Greig asked to speak to her "granddaughter" and was politely told to "just hold on, Ma'am."

A nurse came on to assure the caller that the former Kate Middleton had an uneventful night.

"She's been given some fluids to rehydrate her because she was quite dehydrated when she came in," the nurse said.

The success of the hoax was galling to the hundreds of reporters besieging the hospital and having to make do with anodyne official bulletins and pictures of a silent and serious Prince William being bundled inside the building.

In a posting on the 2DayFM website, Colin was typical in expressing disgust at the prank.

"Next time you or a loved one is sick in hospital reflect on someone doing this to you or your loved one," he said. "Then you might begin to imagine the gravity of your crime."

Among 186 comments posted on the station's website, few were complimentary.

Sarah was one who declared the prank hilarious, adding: "This isn't crossing the line at all. The nurses shouldn't give out info over the phone and omg the accents were terrible!!"

The government's media watchdog, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, said it was up to the royals to make a complaint.

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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