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|Genre||Contemporary hit radio|
|Running time||2.5 hours (7:30 P.M. – 10:00 P.M. AEST)|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|Home station||2Day FM|
Ace Radio Network (Regional Victoria)
|Hosted by||Michael Christian (MC) (2012)
Mel Greig (2012)
|Original release||1999 – 2012|
The Hot30 Countdown was an Australian radio show hosted by Mike Christian (MC) and Mel Greig. It was broadcast on the Today Network from the studios of 2Day FM in Sydney, New South Wales to every state and the Australian Capital Territory following 'The Dirt'. It was cancelled on 10 December 2012, following the death of Jacintha Saldanha.
Established in 1994, the show was first hosted by Ugly Phil and Jackie O. Brisbane-based announcer, Kyle Sandilands, was then moved in to host with Jackie O until 2003. Labrat and Alexis took over the Hot30 Countdown from 2004 after Sandilands and Jackie O moved to the drive-time slot. A previously unknown announcer "Higgo" stepped in after Labrat took the morning shift on 2DayFM. Alexis and Higgo hosted the nightly show until 2005, when Craig "Lowie" Low came in to host the program until mid-2006. Low occasionally included Carla "Biggzy" Bignasca as co-host who was the executive producer of the show from the middle of 2006.
Hot30 Countdown phased out the national promotion of the Black Thunders in early 2005, across the Today Network. Sam "Sam Mac" McMillan and Bignasca hosted the show from late 2006 until early 2007. From early 2007 Tim Lee was announced as the permanent replacement to host the show with Bignasca. In February 2010, it was announced that Lee and Bignasca would be leaving the Hot30 Countdown, with Lee relocating to Fox FM in Melbourne, presenting Mornings; while Bignasca expected to focus on television opportunities. Lee and Bignasca presented their last show on Friday 12 March 2010.
Austereo announced on 10 March 2010 that Charli Delaney (of Hi-5) and Chris Page would be the new hosts. They commenced on 15 March, subsequently introducing a new show at 7pm, The Dirt. Page left the Hot30 Countdown at the end of 2010, moving to Triple M's Grill Team in Sydney and Delaney became the first solo host of The Dirt nationally.
In February 2011, Austereo announced that Matty Acton and Maude Garrett would be the new hosts. From 5 September 2011, it was announced by Southern Cross Austereo, the Hot30 Countdown would broadcast into syndicated channels as well as additional Today Network regional channels and with the merger it changed their Australian studio line to 13 10 60. Acton and Garrett also hosted a weekend music show on Southern Cross Ten which was launched as Hot30 Countdown TV, airing Saturdays from 10am to 12pm and Sundays at 9am to 12pm.
On 31 January 2012 Garrett revealed on the show that she was leaving on 10 February and it was announced on Friday 9 March that Mel Greig (of Amazing Race Australia) would be the replacement co-host. In November Acton announced that he was leaving the show to work at Sea FM on the Gold Coast, Queensland with Fox FM morning presenter, Mike Christian (MC) replacing Acton in early December.
Duchess of Cambridge prank call and cancellation
On 6 December 2012, the day after the then pregnant Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, was admitted to King Edward VII's Hospital for a severe case of morning sickness, Mel Greig and Michael Christian rang the hospital pretending to be Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. The prank worked, with a nurse, Jacintha Saldanha, forwarding the call on to Catherine's private nurse, and Greig and Christian were able to obtain Catherine's medical details. The prank was condemned by a journalist writing in The Huffington Post, and the hospital announced they deeply regretted the incident and would be "reviewing [their] telephone protocols."
Following the incident Saldanha was found dead in a suspected suicide. Following her death both Greig and Christian, took down their Twitter accounts. An executive producer for 2Day FM, told TMZ, "I advise you to stop trying to call them" as the hosts have been "ordered" not to speak to media. It was later announced that Greig and Christian would be stepping away from their duties. The company that owned the station released a statement reported by TMZ, which stated, "SCA and 2Day FM are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha from King Edward VII’s Hospital. [...] SCA and the hosts have decided that they will not return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy."
At a Federal Court hearing it became known that Australian media watchdog Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) had prepared a confidential, preliminary report saying that the Radio Royal hoax 'broke law'. 2Day FM acted illegally by airing the phone call without consent. On 10 December 2012, Southern Cross Austereo, announced that the show would be cancelled effective immediately. On the following day both Christian and Greig were interviewed on TV shows and apologised for their part in the incident.
Timeline of hosts and co-hosts
- 1991–1996: David Rymer and Emma Tyrie
- 1996–1999: Ugly Phil's Hot 30 with Jackie O
- 1999–2000: Ugly Phil and Jackie O
- 2000–2003: Kyle and Jackie O
- 2004-2004: Labrat and Alexis
- 2004–2005: Higgo and Alexis
- 2005–2006: Lowie with Maz Compton for the first half of 2005, Lowie's show solo, then with Biggzy mid-2006
- 2006–2007: Sam Mac and Biggzy (Carla Bignasca)
- 2007–2010: Tim Lee and Biggzy (Carla Bignasca)
- 2010: Charli Delaney and Pagey (Chris Page)
- 2011: Matty Acton and Maude Garrett
- 2012: Matty Acton and Mel Greig
- 2012: Michael Christian (MC) and Mel Greig
In November 2009, a Digital Radio offshoot, Hot30 Jelli, was launched. A joint venture with Jelli, the station uses a play list from current and previous Hot30 Countdown music, which is then voted on by listeners at the Hot30 Jelli website. The station has since been renamed Choose The Hits.
- "Hot 30 Hosts – Charli Delaney and Chris Page". National Youth Week 2010. Archived from the original on 23 April 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
- Reid, Poppy (29 August 2011). "Hot30 Countdown launches broadcast additions". themusicnetwork.com. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- Lawdon, Courtney (10 March 2012). "Amazing Race Australia's Mel Greig lands Hot30 gig". Throng. Archived from the original on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
- Leo, Jessica (9 March 2012). "Mel Greig leaves for hot new job at 30". The Advertiser. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- Michael, Sarah; Lees, Justin (11 December 2012). "Hospital hoax nurse Jacintha Saldanha's mother inconsolable". The Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
- Adams, Rebecca (5 December 2012). "Kate Middleton Hospital Prank: Nurse Fooled By Radio Show Into Divulging Duchess' Details". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- Krupnick, Ellie; Misener, Jessica (7 December 2012). "Kate Middleton's Hospital Nurse Found Dead In London Days After Being Duped By Prank Callers". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "Radio Royal hoax 'broke law' according to watchdog". BBC. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
- "Southern Cross Austereo Press Release" (PDF). 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "Second DAB+ digital station for Austereo". campaignbrief.com. 21 October 2009. Retrieved 7 December 2012.