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Outrage as Kate Middleton prank call radio DJ given Top Jock award

Esme Riley
by Esme Riley Published on 5 June 2013
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Michael Christian faced a public backlash at the end of last year after he and his then radio co-host Mel Greig made a prank call to Kate Middleton's hospital, with tragic consequences. But now the DJ has been rewarded for his work and has even remarked that he's "at the top" of his game.

One of the two radio DJs involved in the royal hoax tragedy in December has won an award for his presenting.

Michael Christian has been named by Southern Cross Austereo as their Next Top Jock and rewarded with a free holiday to Los Angeles.

He said in a statement: "From the start, I felt like I had something to prove to myself.

"Regardless of all that's happened in the past few months, I'm still at the top of my game. So it felt good to see my name at the top of the final leader board.

"If this competition has taught me anything, it's that there's a lot of talent in this company.

"Plus it's given all our announcers access to ideas, ways of thinking and people we might not normally have day-to-day contact with."

Kate Middleton


Member of the Royal Family
born 09/01/1982

Michael now works for the sister station of 2Day FM, where he was employed at the time of the controversial royal prank.

He and his then co-host Mel Greig made an on-air hoax call to the King Edward VII Hospital, where Kate Middleton was being treated for severe pregnancy sickness.

It was nurse Jacintha Saldanha, 46, who answered the pair's call and they managed to convince her they were Prince Charles and the Queen.

She put the pair through to a colleague, who revealed private details about the Duchess' medical condition.

Three days later, Jacintha's body was found in her nurses' quarters, which led to an international backlash against the DJs.

Mum-of-two Jacintha had committed suicide, allegedly because she'd felt huge shame about the prank.

Michael and Mel's show, the Hot 30 Countdown, was cancelled in the wake of the tragedy and the pair recorded a tearful apology to Jacintha and her family.

Mel still hasn't made a return to the airways and the pair have both quit Twitter after they were bombarded with abusive messages.

Unsurprisingly, Michael's award has been met with much criticism - including from Australian Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy.

He told Melbourne radio station 3AW: "I think there’s a bit of bad taste involved there.

"There were some very serious consequences of what was a prank and to be seen to be rewarding people so soon after such an event, I think, is just in bad taste."

Meanwhile, Twitter users are up in arms about Michael's accolade.

One has labelled it "tasteless in the extreme", while others have called it "disgusting" and "a disgrace".

Earlier this month, the Crown Prosecution Service said there was no evidence to support a manslaughter charge against Michael and Mel.

Kate Middleton © Getty
by Esme Riley