Fragile DJs getting intense counselling

Last updated 15:18 09/12/2012

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COURT JESTERS: DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian.
FRAGILE: DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian.

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The Sydney radio presenters behind the prank call that has been linked to a British nurse's death are said to be  ''fragile'' and undergoing intensive psychological counselling.

Southern Cross Austereo has expressed concerns about the mental health of 2Day FM presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian following global condemnation after Jacintha Saldanha's death on Friday.

Greig and Christian are being given intensive counselling to deal with the tragic circumstances, an Austereo spokeswoman told AAP on Sunday.

She said the pair will speak to the media, but the timing will  depend on their state of mind, which she described as ''fragile''.

The radio duo has been confronted with a barrage of abusive and threatening messages via social media following the death of Saldanha, who took their call to London's King Edward VII Hospital.

Greig and Christian impersonated the Queen and Prince Charles  and sought details about the condition of the pregnant Duchess of  Cambridge, who was being treated for severe morning sickness.

Police in London have said there were no suspicious  circumstances surrounding Saldanha's death.

A Facebook page, RIP Jacintha Saldanha. Shame upon those stupid  Australian DJs, has been bombarded with messages of condemnation  since being launched on Saturday.

While some of the posts target the DJs directly, others suggest  criticism should be aimed at the practice of radio phone pranks  rather than personalities.

''Its a complete stupid...stupid...stupid prank,no respect to others by the radio presenters especially involving the royal family.

All i can say,its so sad that now a husband/children has lost a wife/mother in a tragic situation...RIP jacintha,'' reads one post.

Another says: ''It is time we stopped practical jokes/pranks just  for the sake of laughng at someone elses expense and getting good  ratings...''

''The DJs did what radio show hosts have done for decades-there was no malice, no intent to harm, simply a prank call which at the time seemed pretty funny. No one could have predicted this type of  tragic overreaction on the nurse's part,'' reads a third post.

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After a backlash from advertisers, Austereo pulled all ads from 2Day FM until at least Monday.

Austereo chief executive Rhys Holleran said on Saturday Saldanha's death was tragic but could not have been reasonably foreseen, and 2Day FM had done nothing illegal in recording and  broadcasting the call.

Meanwhile NSW Police say London officers have been in contact  through the Australian Federal Police over the 2Day FM prank.

''I have to stress that the London Metropolitan Police have not  actually asked for any action to be taken at this stage,'' Deputy  Commissioner Nick Kaldas told reporters in Sydney.

''They simply wanted to touch base, raise the issues, make us  aware of them,'' he said, adding that the call was fairly routine  procedure. 

- AAP

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