Australian radio presenters trick staff at Duchess of Cambridge's hospital into giving details of her condition
The 2Day FM presenters phoned the hospital pretending to be the Queen
Following stints with Reuters and the Press Association, Martin Hickman joined The Independent as a news editor in 2001. He became the Consumer Affairs Correspondent in September 2005 and has run the paper's trenchant campaigns on packaging, bank charges and factory-farmed chicken. He writes on subjects as diverse as food, finance, energy and fashion. With Tom Watson, he is author of a new book on the phone hacking scandal, Dial M for Murdoch - News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain.
Wednesday 05 December 2012
Two Australian radio presenters tricked the hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge into divulging details of her medical condition after claiming in a phone call to be the Queen and Prince Charles.
As thousands of Australians listened into the 2Day FM presenters Michael Christian and Mel Greig, an un-named nurse at King Edward VII's Hospital Sister Agnes in London gave basic details of the Duchess' condition overnight and dutifully answered the pranksters’ questions about visiting hours.
At one stage Ms Greig, aka “The Queen”, insisted that she needed to feed her corgis – while a studio worker mimicked yapping dogs in the background.
The hospital confirmed the prank had taken place, described it as "foolish" and announced a review of security.
King Edward VII, Marylebone, is the preferred hospital for the Royal Family and has been caring for the Duchess of Cambridge since Monday when she was admitted with hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme form of morning sickness which affects about one in every 200 pregnancies.
Mr Christian and Ms Greig, presenters of the daytime Summer 30 show, could be heard joking before calling the hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning UK time.
In a conspiratorial voice, Mr Christian told listeners: “Here’s the thing we’ve been handed a phone number and we’ve been told that this number if the phone number where Kate Middleton is currently staying. We thought we would give it a call.
He added, in his Australian accent: “We can’t just ring up and say ‘hi it’s MC and Mel from the Summer 30, can we speak to Kate?’… it’s not going to happen.’
As his co-presenter giggled, he told Ms Greig: “You are going to be the Queen and I’m going to be Prince Charles.”
When a female hospital receptionist answered the call, Ms Greig, adopting an upper-class English accent, said: “Oh, hello there, could I please speak to Kate, my grand-daughter.”
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Man dies instantly after shooting firework from top of his head
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
Father faces deportation to Thailand after 27 years in Britain for two 'stupid crimes'
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£35,000 - £40,000 based on experience : Metail Ltd: As a Business Development ...
£30 - 40k (DOE) + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: A Product Manager / Product ...
£17000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company are looking for a S...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 1st / 2nd Line Technical Anal...