An Australian breakfast radio show has defended an employee who blighted disgraced cricketer Steve Smith's emotional press conference with a remark about a reality TV show.
Smith fronted media on Thursday night, breaking down in tears as he spoke of how hurt his parents had been by the cheating scandal that'd engulfed the Australian cricket side under his captaincy.
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Peter Deppeler, a producer from breakfast programme The Kyle and Jackie O Show better known as Intern Pete, attended the conference - attracting controversy for telling Smith that Married At First Sight had been worse for Australia than what he'd done.
The remark drew widespread derision, with fans slamming Deppeler on social media and Cricket Australia cutting its ties with the Australian Radio Network, which owns his employer KIIS FM.
But in the wake of mass criticism, broadcasters Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson have leapt to his defence.
"It's a cricket game at the end of the day," Sandilands snapped on air on Tuesday morning.
"He got death threats, the kid. People threatened Intern Pete with death and they weren't mucking around. These were loons.
"We'll decide whether he stays or goes - certainly not Cricket Australia, who have decided not to advertise (with us) more. My heart bleeds! What do we plays, two ads? I don't give a shit."
Henderson also defended him, insisting Deppeler was "the kind of person who has the best of intentions, who wouldn't hurt a fly".
"He just wants to please people and I feel for him," she said.
The hosts told listeners Deppeler had "not been in a good place" since the press conference, and had flown his mother to be with him for comfort.