Mel Greig and Michael Christian were interviewed on Australian TV expressing their shock and ‘heartbreak’ over the death on Friday of Saldanha, the King Edward VII's Hospital nurse who transferred their prank call enquiring about pregnant Kate Middleton.
The pair appeared following a weekend in which their radio station 2day FM came under attack from both the British media and the hospital for approving the airing of the prank.
Nan Williams, CEO, Four Communications, called the situation an ‘almost impossible one for everyone involved’, but said getting the two DJs on TV was the' right' thing to do.
‘It's not a story that anyone is going to be able to control but I think eventually they would have been put in a position one way or another where they were going to have to speak to the media. To do it in a more controlled situation is better for everyone.’
The appearance of Greig and Christian, who pretended to be the Queen and Prince Phillip in the prank, followed Australian commentators hitting back at a UK press ‘witch hunt’ over the issue.
It also came after King Edward VII's Hospital chairman Lord Simon Glenarthur sent a letter to 2DayFM owner Southern Cross Austereo protesting the 'appalling' hoax 'in the strongest possible terms'.
However, Williams warned both Austereo and the hospital to stay away from such a debate and focus on showing they had followed procedure.
It wouldn’t be helpful for either. Both the radio station and the hospital need to focus on being clear about what their procedures were and how they are now looking at them. It's about making everything you're doing about helping the people at the heart of the story, without getting distracted on the public blame game.'
Scott Wilson, UK CEO of Cohn & Wolfe, condemned the 'hand-wringing' media reaction but praised the understated response to the situation by the royal family.
‘In many respects they are not at the centre of this and I think they have handled it pretty well.’