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Dec 10, 2012, 12.59 PM IST | Source: PTI

Aus radio presenters behind royal hoax call taken off air

Aus radio presenters behind royal hoax call taken off air

From H S Rao London/Melbourne, Dec 8 (PTI) Two Australian radio presenters who made a prank call inquiring about the medical condition of a pregnant Kate Middleton have been taken off air, amid growing anger over the suspected suicide of an Indian-origin nurse who transferred their hoax call. The unconscious body of Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was found yesterday morning at an address yards away from King Edward VII Hospital in London. The CEO of the company that owns embattled radio station '2Day FM' 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, the Australian Associated Press reported. 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. The radio station has pulled the pair off air, he said, as a mark of respect. Saldanha answered the hoax call at 5.30am on Wednesday morning, and was helping out on reception at the time of the prank. Giggling DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian were pretending to be the British Queen and Prince Charles and asked her if they could be put through to Kate. Saldanha connected them to another nurse who gave details of Kate's condition, who was suffering from acute morning sickness at the London hospital. The exact cause of death remained unclear. However, media has indicated that the woman appeared to have killed herself. News of the nurse's death has prompted a furious outpouring against the radio station and the two presenters involved. Saldanha arrived in the UK a decade ago from Udipi near Mangalore in Karnataka. MORE PTI HSR/ASK ASK

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