I don't remember all this huffing and puffing and moralizing when Candid Camera was on. Practical jokes have been around as long as human beings have. What the DJs did was silly but harmless enough.
If you want a really scary "prank", try this one:
I don't remember the Candid Camera epsiode where just for a bit of a laugh they tried to illicit confidential information from a hospital about a patient .... maybe I missed that one ... is it on YouTube
Did they try to elicit confidential information? From what I've seen they just tried to get through and were gobsmacked when they did. Did they actually ask for details of Kate's condition beyond how she was feeling?
I haven't listened to the broadcast, mind ... but even Charlie Windsor wasn't that bothered.
Worse things can happen, Noel Edmonds late breakfast show killed a man in 1986, even though they were warned off the stunts by the HSE after previous accidents and injuries. That type of stunt has been stopped which I'd agree with, but as Muttley says it was a simple prank and meant no harm. Despite having the greatest sympathy for the deceased woman, I cannot see how they could be held responsible for the wildy inappropriate reaction.
suicide is a complex business.
I don't blame the 2 DJs, but I do think the Radio station and/or the programme's producers have some responsibility in this.
Ultimately, prank calls are at the expense and embarrassment of the person on the end of the phone - So the nurses taking the call in this case, not the royals who were simply the subject matter.
Of course they couldn't have known the outcome, and the suicide is surely not directly or solely related to the prank call, although it was probably a tipping point in this poor woman's circumstances.
HOWEVER, they do appear to have acted illegally in broadcasting (and possibly even making) the call: There are laws in both the UK and Australia which cover the conduct of things pranks calls for entertainment purposes, and both have wording along the lines that, if the recipient of the call is identifiable, then permission must be sought from them before the broadcast (hence, there's usually a 'reveal' at the end of most candid camera type pranks) - So in this case, certainly the nurses, possibly the hospital and mayby even the patient.
No doubt their lawyers will be claiming that the British nurses would not be 'identifiable' in Australia where the programme was broadcast but, given the subject of the call and the inevitable viral attention it would receive, that's surely a dodgy arguement.
Any why even make the call in the first place, as it would be hugely doubtful that permission would ever be given by either the embarrassed nurses, the hospital or the royals?
I'm inclined to think that the broadcast of the call flouted the spirit, if not the letter, of the law. And if a radio station does that, it becomes accountable for the consequences, however unlikely they might have been to foresee.
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