After the stunt received international coverage, the nurse who answered the call, 46-year-old Jacintha Saldanha, took her own life.
How much the prank had to do with the tragedy is open to conjecture, but what is certain is that Michael Christian and Mel Greig are two young people under unimaginable pressure.
Though they both say that they are emotionally stable in talking about the events, both Christian and Greig appear visibly distraught.More stories from Today Tonight
When Greig describes hearing the dreadful results following the days after the prank she says "unfortunately I remember that moment very well because I haven't stopped thinking about it since it happened, and I remember my first question was 'was she a mother?'"
On hearing that Saldanha had indeed been the mother of two children, Greig says she was "very sorry and saddened for the family. I can't imagine what they'd be going through."
Christian says he is "gutted", "shattered", and "heartbroken".He says "we're still trying to get our heads around everything. Trying to make sense of the situation."According to Greig the whole tragedy doesn't even seem real. "It doesn't seem real because you just couldn't foresee something like that happening from a prank call. You know it was never meant to go that far. It was meant to be a silly little prank that so many people have done before. This wasn't meant to happen," she said.When asked whether, in hindsight, they would they do something like that again, Christian says "I don't think that anyone could have predicted what could've happened. It was just a tragic set of circumstances. I don't think anyone could have thought that we'd be here."Today Tonight's latest celebrity storiesSo how did the idea of the prank first come up? Both Christian and Greig are clear that the idea was the whole team's - that there is no single person that can or should be blamed. "Everything's done as a team," the said.When asked whether there was legal advice or guidance from senior staff on how best to tackle the call, both Christian and Greig are clear on the fact that the call was never meant to be more than a silly joke."The call to begin with wasn't about speaking to Kate. It wasn't about trying to get a scoop or anything. The call was just – I mean we'd assumed that we'd be hung up on and that'd be that," Christian said.
However when the two weren't hung up on during the call last week, the prank was certainly treated as a scoop. The hosts were both shocked and amused when they were put through and given information about Princess Kate's health.According to Greig "the accents were terrible. You know it was designed to be stupid. We were never meant to get that far - from the little corgis barking in the background – we obviously wanted it to be a joke."Christian echoes that "the joke was always on us, not anyone else. It wasn't about trying to fool someone. I mean we just assumed that with the voices that we put on, you know, we were going to get told off and that was the gag – in us."More stories from reporter Clare BradyAsked whether Austereo provides any coaching or training about the legal and ethical implications of what is put on air, Christian is clear that his role is as a presenter and that there are others who make the tough calls."This phonecall is the same with any phonecall, with any prerecorded segment that goes to air. There's processes in place and people that make those decisions," he said."There are people that make those decisions for us."
Greig echoes the sentiments, saying "it went through the processes of every other recorded bit that we do – from interviews to you know anything at all that gets recorded and passed on to the appropriate people, goes through the process, and we're told whether it's yes or no to play."While the powers that be made the decisions about whether to air the segment, the two DJs were certainly giddy that they'd pulled off such an unlikely prank."We couldn't believe that it had worked, absolutely. You didn't expect it to. We thought a hundred people before us would've tried the same thing. We just did not see that actually working," Greig said.Yahoo!7 News: Sydney station tried to contact nursesChristian is careful to reiterate that the point of the prank "wasn't to get something that no one else had. It wasn't about getting (information)."However they did try to get a medical condition update - and the medical condition of a Royal at that.Greig explains that "we didn't actually want that. We just wanted to be hung up on. We wanted to be hung up on with our silly voices and wanted a twenty second segment to air of us doing stupid voices."
The two didn't identify themselves at the end of the call (though today station management said that they'd tried to contact the two nurses who were part of the call a number of times before the segment went to air). "That's where the process comes in. We just record everything and pass it to the team. That's what we do," Greig said."And again the call itself is – there's no malice in the call. There was no digging. There was no trying to upset or get a reaction," Christian reiterated.Yahoo!7 News: Royals close ranks as radio station defends conductThe extreme vilification of the two DJs by the UK media looks like a witch hunt - there are those that want someone to pay. At the same time hackers here are threatening to shut down the radio station and hack into the whole system if the two young DJs aren't sacked. In tears, Greig says "there's nothing that can make me feel worse than what I feel right now. And for what I feel for the family. We're so sorry that this has happened to them."Though both DJs are being given counseling and support from Austereo, they say their priority is that the family of the nurse gets the support and care they need."I care more about the family. I want to know that they've got the support that they need and that the public are, you know, being respectful of their privacy," Greig said.She has not made contact with the family, deciding that it was no appropriate at this time."I don't think it's an appropriate time to do that yet. But this is where we want to say that we are thinking of you and if we could call you we would want to reach out to you." So if they could turn the clock back, would these two DJs make the same phonecall?"If we played any involvement in her death, then we're very sorry for that. And time will only tell," Christian said.However he does maintain that "these are prank calls. They've been around for as long as radio's existed, and they're done by every radio station."And while that's certainly true, the results of this specific prank call are horific. Christian is clear that "no one could have predicted this result."What does the future hold for the two DJs at the centre of this disaster?"I don't want to think about that right now. There's bigger, more pressing issues and that's making sure that family gets through this tough time. You know our careers aren't important at the moment," Greig said.With Scotland Yard now involved, there is eery chance that they two will be called to an inquest, which will probably be in London, where they'll meet the family face to face. Are they prepared for that?Not ready to look at the future just yet, Christian says "right now we're trying to wrap our heads around what's happened."Greig assures that "if that's going to make them feel better then I'll do what I need to do, absolutely. If that's something that they want to do, to get some closure, then I'll do that."Both Greig and Christian have a lot of support. A poll out today of 11,000 people, had two thirds saying they feel the two DJs are not to blame for this horrible result. However the other side are horrible comments in mainstream media and on Twitter saying they've ruined many lives, 'shame on you', and 'you've got blood on your hands'.Christian says that that's not what they are focusing on. "What's important right now is you know, that the family of Jacintha are getting the support and the love that they deserve. And I mean that's what's important here. You know, it was, it is, nothing more than a tragic turn of events that no one could have predicted and, you know, for the part that we played, we're obviously incredibly sorry.""If we had any idea that something like this could be even possible to happen, you know, we couldn't see this happening. It was meant to be a prank call," Greig said.When the phonecall first aired, Greig said it was the 'highlight of her career' - incredibly excited to get the call through. But of course, as she keeps repeating "we couldn't foresee what was going to happen in the future.""The call itself was not malicious and no harm was intended on Jacintha, or the other nurse, or Kate, or Prince William, or anyone. It wasn't – from start to finish – there was no harm intended. And obviously, you know, we're incredibly sorry for the harm that we may have helped contribute (to)," Christian concluded.Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.