Nine’s 60 Minutes is copping a social media backlash after it heavily promoted last night’s tell-all with shock jock Kyle Sandilands and his apparent serious health condition that turned out to be nothing more than a prank.
According to the promos, the controversial radio host was going to use last night’s program to open up about a “health battle” and even suggested the 48-year-old was so ill that the “loudmouth of the airwaves was about to be silenced”.
B&T has contacted Nine for comment.
The segment – to celebrate Sandliands’ and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson’s 20 years on-air together – was reportedly filmed over six months in Sydney and Los Angeles and was conducted by Today host and friend of Sandilands, Karl Stefanovic.
It pulled 698,000 metro viewers according to OzTAM numbers out this morning.
Kyle Sandilands opens up about his health battles, revealing a grim prognosis for one of the most successful radio hosts in Australia. But he’s not planning on going anywhere just yet. #60Mins pic.twitter.com/53BKhKw4Fb
— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) May 24, 2020
But Sandiland’s reveal turned out to be nothing more than a hoax.
“There’s a condition that I’ve been diagnosed with and I haven’t spoke to anyone about,” the program teased, with both Sandilands and co-host Henderson in tears.
“Are you joking?” Henderson asked.
“Yeah,” Sandilands responded.
“Why would you do that? I genuinely,” Henderson said tearily.
“You had me. You so had me. No that is emotionally mean. That was really cruel. Asshole.”
“No, no. There’s nothing wrong with me,” Sandilands confessed.
Social media soon lit up in disgust. Not so much that they’d been duped, more that Sandilands had made light of a serious illness.
Former politican and radio host, Derryn Hinch, led the chorus of complaints. Hinch tweeting:
Viewers were also scathing of 60 Minutes’ tactics.
“You have hit rock bottom tonight, 60 minutes,” one angry viewer tweeted. “Knowingly promoting all week a ‘fake story’.”
“Very poor form tonight 60 Minutes,” said another.
“Disgusting and deceiving. I can expect this from Kyle as he is controversial but I cannot understand how 60 Minutes can entertain such a rubbish,” complained another cranky viewer.
While another wrote: “It’s unacceptable and makes me angry that at a time when people are dying globally, at a time of a pandemic this network and these people are playing jokes with health.”
The duo also commented on the lie detector controversy in 2009 which saw the pair pulled off air by 2DAYFM after a controversial stunt involving a 14-year-old girl who said she had been raped live to air.
The pair were kicked off radio for a few days after the girl was strapped to a lie detector and quizzed about her sexual history. The unnamed girl revealing she had been raped when she was just 12.
“I think lesson learned about what is going too far. I wasn’t a mother back then,” Henderson said.
“There’s no way I would do that now. If someone suggested that as a segment, I would know, no, we’re not putting a young girl on a lie-detector test.
“That is probably the hardest part when working with Kyle, is that he has this really beautiful side … and then with that comes this other side that you just think, ‘Oh no, why do you have to say that? Why?’
“I don’t know why I get nervous for him. Because I feel like sometimes he … Yeah, because I’m always worried you’re going to say something that will one day just ruin you,” she told Sandilands.
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