Danny Baker sacked by BBC over controversial royal baby joke
9 May 2019 - 1:00 PM

Danny Baker sacked by BBC over controversial royal baby joke

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Danny Baker has been sacked by the BBC over his controversial joke about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's new baby.

In a now deleted tweet, the 61-year-old broadcaster shared a photo of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee wearing clothes with the caption "Royal Baby leaves hospital", and many users accused the former Radio 5 Live presenter of mocking Duchess Meghan's African-American heritage.

A BBC spokesperson said the post was "a serious error of judgement" and confirmed that the corporation had taken the decision to axe him from his weekly show.

The spokesperson added: "[It] goes against the values we as a station aim to embody. Danny's a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us."

His initial post came after Prince Harry and Meghan - whose mother Doria Ragland is African-American and father is Caucasian - revealed their new son was named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

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Following the immediate backlash, Danny tweeted an apology after deleting his original post insisting the racial connotation "never occurred" to him.

He wrote: "Sorry my gag pic of the little fella in the posh outfit has whipped some up. Never occurred to me because, well, mind not diseased. Soon as those good enough to point out it's possible connotations got in touch, down it came. And that's it. Now stand by for sweary football tweets (sic)"

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He later maintained that "the outfit is the joke", denying suggestions the image was a comment on Meghan's mixed race heritage.

He added: "Once again. Sincere apologies for the stupid unthinking gag pic earlier.

"Was supposed to be joke about Royals vs circus animals in posh clothes but interpreted as about monkeys & race, so rightly deleted. Royal watching not my forte. (sic)"

In the wake of his firing, Baker has taken to social media to hit back at the BBC's decision to fire him and accused the corporation of "pompous faux-gravity".

He wrote: "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. #F**kem (sic)"

This is the third time Baker has left the BBC, and the second time he has been axed from "5 Live".

In 1997, he was sacked after he encouraged football fans to target a referee after he awarded a controversial penalty.

In 2012 he resigned and described his bosses as "pinheaded weasels" after he was asked to move to a weekend programme from his weekday timeslot.

Over the years, the "Saturday Morning" show won him the Sony Gold award for Speech Radio Personality of the year three times (2011, 2012, 2014) and the prize for entertainment show of the year in 2013.

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