Today Network duo trick nurse into revealing details about Princess’ medical treatment

Southern Cross Austereo’s Today Network has ended the year at the centre of another controversy after the  hosts of The Summer 30 show made a prank call to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge is staying, and tricked staff into revealing details about her treatment.

The stunt – which saw Mel Greig and Michael “MC” Christian impersonate the Queen and Prince Charles  - has made global headlines. The call came on Christian’s first day on the show.

The Princess has been in hospital after suffering severe morning sickness symptoms in the early stages of her pregnancy.

It drew angry reaction form the hospital which reportedly described it as “foolish and deplorable”.

However, it is not obvious that whether any Australian radio broadcasting codes have been breached. The network had the recording approved by a lawyer prior to broadcast and has reviewed it since the furore erupted.

One code states that the words of “an identifiable” person must not be broadcast without their consent. However, the nurse’s name was edited out of the call before it was broadcast.

Another rule states that broadcasters must “not use material relating to a person’s personal or private affairs, or which invades an individual’s privacy, unless there is a public interest in broadcasting such information.” However this rule relates to news programs only.

While the Australian Communications and Media Authority has the power to launch an investigation, it usually requires a person to have first complained to the radio station before intervening.

2dayfm website royal prank

SCA said in a statement: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the enquiry to Kate’s hospital, the radio segment was done with light-hearted intentions, we wish Kate and her family all the best and we’re glad to hear she’s doing well.” The networkis still celebrating the stunt on its website as “the biggest Royal prank ever”.

The Summer 30 is broadcast across the Today Network including 2Day FM in Sydney, Fox FM in Melbourne, SAFM in Adelaide, 92.9 in Perth and B105 in Brisbane.

The Today Network also airs the Kyle & Jackie O Show which has run foul of the media regulator on a number of occasions including Kyle Sandilands’ attack on News Limited journalist Alison Stephenson and the infamous lie detector incident.

How UK newspaper the Daily Mail is reporting the incident:

daily mail 2day fm

A spokesperson for ACMA told Mumbrella: “The Australian Communications and Media Authority has received complaints overnight regarding the 2Day FM prank call to the King Edward VII Hospital in London.

“Under the co-regulatory model, code complaints should first go to the licensee. If a complainant is dissatisfied with the response, then a complaint can be made to the ACMA.

“The ‘privacy’ provisions of the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice apply to news and current affairs programs.

“The ACMA has no further comment to make on the matter at this time.”

Comments


  1. Scott Rhodie
    6 Dec 12
    9:53 am

  2. I was really disappointed when I read that story. I am no fan of the royal family but I do believe everyone should have their privacy when they are in hospital. You should never prank anyone when they are in hospital especially when you have no idea how serious the situation is.

  3. Any
    6 Dec 12
    10:25 am

  4. Shouldn’t the hospital attempt to identify people instead of freely giving out information to anyone that calls saying they’re a relative?

  5. Ma'am's corgi
    6 Dec 12
    11:30 am

  6. I heard it on Radio National this morning. It was actually hilarious. The hospital staff need some serious retraining on privacy protocols.

  7. Benji
    6 Dec 12
    11:51 am

  8. So our own political leaders are fair game, but as soon as some one dares to pick on an unellected, figure head of our country who lives a sheltered and well catered for life it’s totally unacceptable???

  9. juststoplistening!
    6 Dec 12
    12:25 pm

  10. It’s such a sad state of affairs that this radio station and programs like these are mainstream in Australia.
    Are consumers going to switch off at any point and decide that they could listen to something that informs them about important news and current affairs? Or will they listen idly as their brains continue to rot?
    Obviously music has a significant weighting on a consumer’s decision to listen to these stations, but how someone could listen to the same 5 songs on rotation with the absolute tripe they call “entertainment” in between is beyond me!

  11. Anonymous
    6 Dec 12
    1:44 pm

  12. Ha! Why are they in hot water? They didn’t do anything wrong. Who just hands out patient information over the phone especially when the patient is such a public figure? Storm in a teacup – if anything the hospital should review/enforce their policy on patient information over the phone.

  13. Gil
    6 Dec 12
    1:44 pm

  14. Love it! The fault lies not with the hospital or the nurse but the Palace’s security services who now might see the need for a confidential telephone hotline in these situations.

  15. Good Moron
    6 Dec 12
    1:46 pm

  16. Usually I’d be for hanging them on Friday morning for treason but… this is more an issue of dumbness at the hospital than breach of privacy by the radio station.

    The actionable breach of privacy seems to have been made by hospital staff rather than the DJs.

  17. Sydney
    6 Dec 12
    1:46 pm

  18. The radio station really should have used the kill button to silence the broadcast as soon as the nurse started disclosing private information about the patient.

    Certainly the hospital should have better protocols for protecting patient privacy (especially around high profile patients that are more likely to be targeted) but the radio station had an ethical responsibility too.

  19. timross
    6 Dec 12
    1:52 pm

  20. FM radio in Australia seems to be a bunch mindless halfwits trying to out do each other in coming up with stupider shit to say on air vs their compeditors. Apparently, they play Lady Gaga too in between. Worse still are the commuting boguns who tune in, brainwashed with ‘integrated’ messages about energy drinks and new insurance products and prank calls from some other bogun who may or may not have been on Big Brother. Lets hope the internet kills the business model.

  21. Ben May
    6 Dec 12
    1:56 pm

  22. Cringe worthy x 100

  23. Peter A
    6 Dec 12
    1:58 pm

  24. I too thought it was hilarious.

    Most people do not realise how much news this is making overseas. It has very wide coverage in the UK as would be expected. It was on all the major networks – evening and morning programs in the US, as well as other mainstream media in all english speaking countries.

    Good ol’ 2Day FM may now find itself with an international audience.

  25. the bottom line ...
    6 Dec 12
    1:59 pm

  26. … is that this just isn’t funny.

  27. TC
    6 Dec 12
    2:06 pm

  28. This seriously had me laughing with real tears….. Really how stupid can a hospital be? I just hope the nurse doesn’t loose her job….. Its great to see good old Aussie humour is alive and well…..

  29. Jeremy
    6 Dec 12
    2:22 pm

  30. It comes down to personal taste as to whether you find this funny or not.

    These guys were just having fun, targeted at a girl who signed up for a life in the spotlight. I don’t feel the least bit sorry for Kate.

    The day the royal family resign from this ridiculous notion of family being elevated above everyone else in the world based on a ‘blood-line’, release all countries from the commonwealth and request a life of privacy, I’ll then feel sorry for them, but until them – let them be a target for cheap laughs.

  31. NOT Rumpelstiltskin
    6 Dec 12
    2:32 pm

  32. And just when we thought Australian radio couldn’t sink any lower… along come these two muppets. Just plain stupid and really not that funny! I am not a huge fan of the Royal Family, but c’mon, give them a break!

  33. Michael D Hogan
    6 Dec 12
    2:32 pm

  34. Good luck to the “funsters” trying to get into England or Europe anytime or ever again. I still think the yanks should have shot the “funster” that dressed up as Bin Laden when Bush was here; so I would be delighted if these idiots personal details are read out when they have their colo-rectal exams or pap smear so we can all join in the fun.

  35. Dec
    6 Dec 12
    2:36 pm

  36. What’s next, radio stations chasing royals in high speed car chases through the streets of Paris?

    Oh.. yeah that’s right the British press came to an agreement with the palace that this type of thing is unacceptable in modern times.

    Shame on your SCA.

  37. But...
    6 Dec 12
    2:58 pm

  38. Sometimes I can’t tell if I’m reading the comments section in The Daily Telegraph or mUmbrella.

  39. Lisa
    6 Dec 12
    3:00 pm

  40. I too was shocked after reading about this story, until I heard the audio. Mel sounds NOTHING like the Queen….it was clearly a piss take that went a little too far as of course they would never have expected to get through. The biggest issue is how they got through in the first place, as if Queeny would phone front desk to have a chat!?

  41. Jono
    6 Dec 12
    3:01 pm

  42. The most personal medical information they got out of the nurse was that Kate was “Keeping her fluids up”. I mean really, was that such a private invasion for all this fuss. Yes a security breach, hospital needs to check on that, but a Koo for 2 Day FM. Everyone is talking about it and it was stunt that caused no real harm….really.

  43. MM
    6 Dec 12
    3:11 pm

  44. The key quesion network management should be asking themselves is how funny this would be in the tragic event that the Dutchesses condition turned for the worse?
    I wonder how funny Mel or Michael would find this prank in the event it was pulled on one of their loved ones?
    Unfortunately these guys a devoid of a moral compass.

  45. JF
    6 Dec 12
    3:18 pm

  46. My work at an Australian hospital would suggest much stricter rules on identifying who is getting the info – for everyone. As a consumer I once had a hard time finding info about my hospitalised father and had to go through a process to ensure I could. Also hope the young nurse is not monstered, clearly general protocols there are weak.
    Also hope the nurse doesn’t get a bullet, she was clearly not properly trained in protocols.

    As for this being an example for the world of Aussie humour, standards are plummeting.

  47. JF
    6 Dec 12
    3:20 pm

  48. My work at an Australian hospital would suggest much stricter rules on identifying who is getting the info – for everyone. As a consumer I once had a hard time finding info about my hospitalised father and had to go through a process to ensure I could. Also hope the young nurse is not monstered, clearly general protocols there are weak.

    As for this being an example for the world of Aussie humour, standards are plummeting.

  49. Mark Simkins
    6 Dec 12
    3:30 pm

  50. Dumb hospital staff!!! Still funny.

  51. Jellyfish
    6 Dec 12
    3:45 pm

  52. Another bow to political correctness.

    They had the balls to do it, but then not stand by it.

    “Shit! People are upset. Better apologise even though we haven’t really done anything wrong…”

  53. meetch
    6 Dec 12
    5:12 pm

  54. isn’t this just like when The Chaser got through security at the APEC summit? trying to have a laugh that went way too far through no fault of their own?

  55. Funny Haha
    6 Dec 12
    10:17 pm

  56. Referring to a nurse as dumb is a little unfair. Nurses graft, hard. They are not expecting prank calls from radio stations, they are too busy caring for the sick.

    Admittedly I do love prank calls, when they are funny and when they are pulled off (sounds rude?) by smart, articulate people.

    This is hilarious:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USTS1SdlZIw

  57. APT
    8 Dec 12
    2:36 am

  58. The nurse who put the call through has now been found dead. Hope the pillock broadcasters are proud of themselves.

  59. Sarah cambridge
    8 Dec 12
    2:50 am

  60. Umm, the nurse killed herself. How do the bogans at 2Day FM feel now?

  61. howard latham
    8 Dec 12
    3:03 am

  62. And now the Hoaxed nurse has killed herself. So Funny Aus!

  63. James
    8 Dec 12
    3:24 am

  64. Sad to find out the nurse involved has been found dead, not funny now.

  65. Jod
    8 Dec 12
    5:11 am

  66. “No real harm”…………………really???

  67. james
    8 Dec 12
    6:52 am

  68. http://www.theaustralian.com.a.....6245217641

    lets shame the sponsors of 2DAY FM

    Jenny Craig is one of them

    I asked them to pull their support from the station.
    http://www.jennycraig.com/cont.....ontact.jsp

  69. JF
    8 Dec 12
    9:12 am

  70. Looking back on some of the comments (now the nurse that put the call through is dead) I am struck again by the quick, callous, easy terms about the nurse/staff – dumb, silly – and that no real harm was done, prank etc. How do you sages know that no harm is ever done?
    And I stick by my earlier comment, if this is an example to the world of Aus humour – standards are plummeting.

  71. Jono
    8 Dec 12
    9:55 am

  72. In light of recent events I retract my earlier comment that was made some days ago. Real harm has now been done. It is very tragic

  73. Peter A
    8 Dec 12
    1:18 pm

  74. Like Jono, I too retract my earlier comment.

    News coming through on some US networks is, it was the nurse who was looking after the Princess who took her life, not the one who put through the call.

    Very sad.

  75. anonymous
    8 Dec 12
    6:19 pm

  76. Oh my god James [34] you are the absolute worst

  77. james
    9 Dec 12
    8:43 am

  78. NEWS FLASH FROM ANONYMOUS

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhnuFeQqrpM

    now the station is screwed

  79. Victor
    16 Dec 12
    4:54 am

  80. Most comments make very unpleasnt reading in light of subsequent events…..