UPDATE: The two Sydney radio hosts behind a royal prank have expressed their concern for the family of a woman who died after their prank went horribly wrong.
Television current affairs shows took to social media earlier today to confirm they had secured interviews with 2Day FM radio hosts Michael Christian and Mel Greig.
Greig and Christian have spoken to the Seven Network's Clare Brady for Today Tonight and Nine Network's A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw in interviews airing tonight.
Seven said Greig and Christian would respond to the "worldwide debate raging over the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who was at the centre of the royal hoax call to London's King Edward VII Hospital last week".
An emotional Greig told Today Tonight: "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?'
"It doesn't seem real because you just couldn't foresee something like that happening from a prank call.
"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."
Christian told Today Tonight: "We're still trying to get our heads around everything; trying to make sense of the situation."
He said the pair were feeling completely "gutted, shattered, heartbroken".
In segments of both interviews broadcast on Sky News, Greig told of how she wanted to reach out to the family of the deceased nurse and "give them a big hug and say sorry"."I hope they're okay," she said, before breaking down in tears.Asked if they would make contact with the nurse's family, Greig said it was not an "appropriate time to do that"."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."Greig described how receiving a phone call on Saturday morning informing her of Ms Saldanha's death was the worst news she had in her life.Christian said he hoped Ms Saldanha's family received the love and support they needed.2DayFM is providing intense counselling to the pair who have faced a worldwide backlash on social media with many blaming the prank call on the nurse's death."We're getting the support that we need and we've got those around us that are helping us," Christian said.Greig said: "If we played any involvement in her death then we're very sorry for that. And time will only tell." She said the idea for the prank came up in a team meeting and they were shocked when the prank succeeded."We couldn't believe that it had worked... We thought a hundred people before us would've tried the same thing," she said.
"We just wanted to be hung up on. We wanted to be hung up on with our silly voices and wanted a 20-second segment to air of us doing stupid voices."
Christian declined to reveal what legal training the pair had received from 2DayFM.
"There are people that make those decisions for us," he said.The pair declined to speculate on future career moves, following the suspension of their radio show."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," Greig said."You know, our careers aren't important at the moment."Southern Cross Austereo, which owns 2Day FM, has announced that it had suspended all advertising on the radio station until further notice; and that it had terminated 2Day FM's Hot 30 show.Southern Cross Austereo said there had since been a company-wide suspension of prank calls and a "comprehensive review of relevant company policies and processes".The company said several attempts had been made by the station's production team to discuss the segment with the London hospital, "but with no success"."The segment was referred to an internal review process, which included internal legal review and authorisation was granted to broadcast," Southern Cross Austereo said."The company does not consider that the broadcast of the segment has breached any relevant law, regulation or code."Today Tonight announced on Twitter: "On #TodayTonight at 6:30. #2DayFM pranksters tell all on the Royal hoax that went horribly wrong & how their lives have changed forever (sic)."
ACA confirmed its interview in a series of tweets this morning and denied that it had paid Christian and Greig."First interview with the #2dayfm djs just recorded with @TracyGrimshaw. It's raw & emotional. The full uncut interview at 6.30 tonight #aca9(sic)," ACA tweeted."People are asking - no money has been paid for interview with #2dayfm djs."Grimshaw also took to Twitter to deny that the radio hosts had been paid: "Let me say clearly that our interview with the 2Day FM hosts for tonight's A Current Affair was NOT paid for. Neither asked nor offered."Grimshaw told Fairfax Radio after the interview that Greig and Christian were "shattered people".She said the pair had indicated their radio station had given them a lot of support."They are under pressure that would break an old warhorse and neither of them are old warhorses," Grimshaw said.
She said both Greig and Christian had wanted to talk.
"It wasn't a question of twisting their arm."The Ten Network said it was planning to show an interview with Greig and Christian on The Project, but a spokesman for the network later said the pair pulled out because they were unwell.Earlier today, University of Melbourne's Dr Lauren Rosewarne predicted Greig and Christian would appear on TV chat shows.She expected them to give a confessional-style interview about last week's prank and describe some of the abuse they have suffered in the aftermath.It is the first time the embattled radio hosts have spoken to the media since 2Day FM's prank phone call, in which Greig and Christian - posing as members of the royal family - phoned King Edward VII's Hospital and asked to speak to the Duchess of Cambridge, who was a patient.Nurse Saldanha answered the phone and transferred the call to a colleague, who went on to give sensitive information to the pair about the Duchess. She took her own life on Friday.The chairman of Southern Cross Austereo, which owns 2Day FM, has written to the British hospital saying it is reviewing the broadcast and processes involved.Max Moore-Wilton led a crisis meeting on Sunday afternoon to discuss a stinging letter from Lord Glenarthur, chairman of King Edward VII's Hospital.In the reply to Lord Glenarthur, released after the board of Southern Cross Austereo's meeting, Mr Moore-Wilton wrote he had been "saddened" by recent events, describing them as "truly tragic".He stressed that Southern Cross Austereo would co-operate with any investigation into the incident."As we have said in our own statements on the matter, the outcome was unforeseeable and very regrettable," he wrote."I can assure you were are taking immediate action and reviewing the broadcast and processes involved ... our company joins with you all at King Edward VII's Hospital and Mrs Saldanha's family and friends in mourning their tragic loss."Lord Glenarthur said 2Day FM's prank phone call was "truly appalling".Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.