The two Australian radio DJs who made a prank phone call to Kate Middleton's hospital ward are speaking out publicly for the first time since the suicide of the nurse on the receiving end of the call.
In a pair of interviews on Australian shows A Current Affair and Today Tonight, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, hosts of the Hot 30 show on the Sydney-based 2Day FM, seemed stunned that their prank phone call had caused so much pain and trouble.
"Not for a second did we expect to speak to Kate let alone have a conversation with anyone. We expected to be hung up on," Greig said. "I still expected them to put us through to some kind of complaints area, that she would have realized from that point and we would be transferred and told off and hung up on."
"Prank calls have been done for years. It was routine for us."
The emotional hosts repeatedly said that the call's outcome was not something they or anyone else could have anticipated.
"I don't think that anyone could have predicted that outcome," Christian said. "It was just a tragic set of circumstances that I don't think anyone could have thought that we'd be here."
"The joke was always on us, not anyone else. It wasn't about trying to fool someone. We just assumed that the voices that we put on, we were going to get told off and that was the gag."
Greig and Christian's Hot 30 show has already been pulled off air by owners Southern Cross Austereo, and prank calls suspended company-wide, but that hasn't stopped the threats and demands that they be fired from rolling in.
Still, they said their concern was for the family of Saldanha, not for their own careers.
"There is nothing that could make me feel worse than what I feel right now and for what I feel for the family," Greig said. "We're so sorry that this has happened to them."
"We're getting the support that we need and we've got those around us that are helping us but right now," Christian said. "We care more about the family. I want to know that they've got the support that they need," Greig finished.
Watch the full interviews:
Greig and Christian became the target of outrage after they dialed the hospital where a pregnant Kate Middleton was staying, suffering from morning sickness. Nurse Jacintha Saldanha, 46, picked up the phone, and believing she was speaking to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, transferred the call to the nurse caring for Kate.
The other nurse, whose identity is still unknown, shared details on the Duchess's medical condition, even offering advice to "Queen Elizabeth" and "Prince Charles" when they might best come to visit.
Saldanha, who has two young children, was found non-responsive Friday morning.
Before Saldanha's death, the prank call had been considered mostly harmless, with Prince Charles even cracking a joke about it.
"How do you know I"m not a radio station," Charles said, before adding that he was thrilled with the news.
But after word began to spread of Saldanha's suicide, listeners from around the world turned their anger on 2Day FM and the radio hosts, insisting that Greig and Christian be held responsible.
The cyber group anonymous has weighed in, finding the radio station "guilty of murder" and demanding the hosts be terminated, and threatening the station and advertisers with "cyber hacktivism."