CANBERRA, Australia — Two Australian radio announcers who made a prank call to a British hospital treating Prince William's pregnant wife Kate broke a three-day silence Monday to speak of their distress at the apparent suicide of the nurse who took their call. Their show, "Hot 30," has been terminated, the station's parent company, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), said in a statement Monday. SCA also announced a company-wide suspension of prank calls.
The 2DayFM Sydney-based announcers, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, said the tragedy had left them "shattered, gutted, heartbroken."
Greig and fellow presenter and prank mastermind Christian have been in hiding since nurse Jacintha Saldanha's death and the subsequent social media outrage at their prank.
Greig told Australian television her first thought when told of Saldanha's death was for her family.
"Unfortunately I remember that moment very well, because I haven't stopped thinking about it since it happened," she said, amid tears and her voice quavering with emotion. "I remember my first question was 'was she a mother?'"
"I've wanted to just reach out to them and just give them a big hug and say sorry. I hope they're okay, I really do. I hope they get through this," said a black-clad Greig when asked about Saldanha's children, left grieving their mother's death with their father Ben Barboza.
Saldanha, 46, was found dead in staff accommodation near London's King Edward VII hospital Friday after putting the hoax call through to a colleague who unwittingly disclosed details of Kate's morning sickness to 2DayFM's presenters.
A recording of the call, broadcast repeatedly by the station, rapidly became an internet hit and was reprinted as a transcript in many newspapers.
But news of Saldanha's death sparked the Internet firestorm, with vitriolic comments toward the DJs on Facebook and Twitter.