“Get a life.” That’s the advice Ita Buttrose offered to anyone upset by an attempted Royal Rickroll that somehow succeeded.
The prank phone call was made by 2 Day FM presenters, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, to a nurse at King Edward VII hospital where the now officially pregnant Duchess of Cambridge is currently located. Greig and Christian called the hospital pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles requesting information about the Duchess’s visiting hours and, despite horribly poor British accents and fake human barking to constitute the Queen’s “bloody corgis”, they miraculously convinced the woman on the end of the phone line that the call was legit.
The hospital, the royal family and the world press expressed a consensus response neck-deep in stony disapproval; we are not impressed, the general denouement.
Once the hospital spokespeople caught wind of the incident, they went into damage control as a means of self-defense, referencing the gag as “a foolish prank call that we all deplore” and condemning the “journalistic trickery” that, I suppose, was an infraction on normal journalism-related prank calls.
According to a report in The Age, the pre-recorded radio segment was vetted by lawyers before being broadcast, but the station ultimately apologised in a statement declaring: 2Day FM sincerely apologises for any inconvenience caused by the inquiries to Kate’s hospital. The radio segment was done with lighthearted intentions. We wish Kate and her family all the best and we’re glad to hear she’s doing well.
I’m with Ita Buttrose on this particular storm in a teacup. Primarily
because the prank was so harmless. The impetus was obviously laughs, and
the transcript of the conversation reveals the presenters had zero
malicious or exploitative intentions. If anything, the response to the
prank reveals the wasteland of humour that is Britain’s attitude toward
the Royal Family. Or maybe in Australia we just don’t understand what it’s like to have true reverence toward the leaders of the realm because of our ‘larrikin’ sense of humour… And because of moments like these.
What’s your take on the ‘Royal baby hoax’? Storm in a teacup or real cause for reproach?
Hear the prank conversation here:
Photo by Leon Neal for AFP via Getty Images.