Broadcaster Danny Baker has said his sacking from BBC Radio 5 Live today, over a tweet about the new royal baby that pictured a chimp dressed in a coat and hat, had been a “masterclass of pompous faux-gravity”.
Baker apologised and deleted the tweet following an online backlash yesterday, with some claiming the image was racist given Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s newborn son is of mixed racial heritage.
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The tweet said: “Royal baby leaves hospital,” alongside a black and white photo of a well-dressed couple with a small, fully-clothed chimpanzee stood between them sporting a cane and holding the woman’s hand.
Baker, 61, has since said the image had been a “stupid unthinking gag pic” that was “supposed to be a joke about royals vs circus animals in posh clothes but [was] interpreted as about monkeys and race”.
The royal couple showed off their new son to the world at a press call yesterday, revealing they had named him Archie Harrison. Pictures of him were on nearly every daily newspaper front page today.
Baker said today that reporters from Sky and the Daily Mail had doorstepped him to ask about the tweet.
“Now Sky at the door,” he tweeted. “Would have used same stupid pic for any other Royal birth or Boris Johnson kid or even one of my own. It’s a funny image. (Though not of course in that context.) Enormous mistake, for sure. Grotesque. Anyway, here’s to ya Archie, Sorry mate.”
After his dismissal from the BBC today, where he presents a weekly show on Radio 5 Live, Baker tweeted: “The call to fire me from @bbc5live was a masterclass of pompous faux-gravity.
“Took a tone that said I actually meant that ridiculous tweet and the BBC must uphold blah blah blah. Literally threw me under the bus. Could hear the suits knees knocking. #Fuckem.”
A BBC spokesperson said Baker’s royal baby tweet “was a serious error of judgement” that “goes against the values we as a station aim to embody”.
They added: “Danny’s a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us.”
According to the BBC it is the second time Baker has been axed by Radio 5 Live and the third time he has left the corporation.
Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire