Two very cheeky Australian radio show hosts placed a prank phone call to the hospital where Kate, the Dutchess of Cambridge, is a patient, and actually managed to get information regarding her health (she’s doing well apparently) by performing absolutely absurd imitations of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, complete with fake corgis barking in the background.
As every person on earth knows by now, William and Kate are expecting a wee Royal, and unfortunately Kate has been suffering from an unpleasant-sounding condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, which necessitated her admittance into a hospital. The radio hosts, Mel Greig and Michael Christian from the Summer 30 show on Australia’s 2Day FM, decided to it would funny to call the hospital and try to get Kate on the phone by pretending to be the Queen and Charles just calling to check in. They were wrong.
The biggest problem with this scheme … and there are many, but since I am actively participating in one of them, I will ignore it for the moment … is that prank phone calls are supposed to be funny and this one is decidedly not. The only humor is in the fact that they actually get through, but they themselves are not the least bit funny. The whole deal with prank calls is that you never know if you’ll get through, if someone will actually engage with you … but if you do and if they do, you have to have some material ready. Material that extends beyond extraordinarily bad fake accents. Watch Crank Yankers, for God’s sake.
Astonishingly, whomever initially answered the call from Mel and Michael had not the least hesitation in forwarding it along directly to one of Kate’s personal nurses. Apparently Aussie Mel’s opening was a convincing introduction. In her horrible accent, she said:
“Oh hello there. Could I speak to Kate please, my grand-daughter?”
That’s all. No elaboration or verification. Without hesitation, she was asked to hold and mere moments later, the nurse was on the phone, ready to answer questions about Kate’s “tummy bug.”
It’s clear when you hear the audio that Mel and Michael did not truly expect to be taken seriously and honestly meant no harm … they were just midguidedly trying to boost their show’s ratings. In the fall-out, the two made a statement saying:
“We were very surprised that our call was put through, we thought we’d be hung up on as soon as they heard our terrible accents. … We’re very sorry if we’ve caused any issues and we’re glad to hear that Kate is doing well.”
William and Kate are undoubtedly accustomed to having every aspect of their lives on public display, but a baby truly does change the rules. While this stupid prank is not quite as intrusive as topless photos splashed across magazine covers, having your medical status made public, even when it’s completely innocuous, is pretty disturbing. Comparable retribution is probably to force those obnoxious Aussies to babysit without compensation once the Royal One is born and change lots and lots of Royal Diapers … though, sadly, that would probably also make a pretty good show by their standards.