ENTERTAINMENT
09/05/2019 11:28 BST | Updated 09/05/2019 13:32 BST

Danny Baker Says He's Been 'Thrown Under The Bus' By BBC Over 'Racist' Tweet Sacking

"The call to fire me was a masterclass of pompous faux-gravity."

Danny Baker says he has been “thrown under the bus” after being fired from BBC 5 Live for a “racist” tweet he posted about the royal baby

The presenter was sacked from his weekly show on Thursday following a backlash to an image he shared in a tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, that featured a chimpanzee.

Shortly after confirming he had been sacked, Baker accused his BBC bosses of “pompous faux-gravity” over his dismissal. 

PA Archive/PA Images
Danny Baker has been fired from his BBC Radio 5 Live show

He 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,” he continued. 

“Could hear the suits knees knocking. #Fuckem.”

Replying to a follower, he claimed the situation had become “preposterous” and a “circus”, adding that the “craven 5 Live” had given “credence to the vampires”. 

Speaking outside his London home late on Thursday morning, Baker told reporters: “I’ve been fired, yes. I think it was a bit weaselly for the BBC to chuck us under the bus, giving credence to the stories whirling about.”

Asked if he could understand people’s outrage, he said: “You can, but equally against that you’ve got to take Ockham’s Razor [the most simple explanation is usually correct].

“I didn’t know which of our royal princesses had given birth. Otherwise you’d got to be thinking I’d been secretly waiting to make this grotesque joke. There’s no truth to it.

“I’ve been doing a thing on the radio for years of famous people dressed as monkeys with fairground music.

“My go-to photo when any posh people have a baby is this absurd chimpanzee in a top hat leaving the hospital.”

Baker also claimed that “had it not been Meghan”, the tweet would have been “a perfectly good joke”. 

“I was trying to make a point about class and it’s just preposterous,” he said. “Of course it becomes grotesque in this context. I had no idea it was her baby, only a lunatic would have gone on there and gone ‘ah look at the point I’m making’.”

“I’m aware of the trope down the years of monkeys and race but the idea that I went with that anyway is just absurd, grotesque and you’d have to have a diseased mind [to have done it].

“I’ve apologised but that doesn’t help. Couldn’t be more appalled at myself. My fault, my blunder, my bad – as the youth say.”

PA Ready News UK
Danny outside his home on Thurdsday morning 

A rep for the BBC explained that Baker’s tweet, which included a black and white photo showing a well-dressed man and woman holding hands with a suited chimpanzee, “went against” the corporation’s values. 

In a statement issued to HuffPost UK, they said: “This was a serious error of judgment and 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.”

Baker initially apologised for the original tweet prior to his sacking, writing: “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.”

He later 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. Also, guessing it was my turn in the barrel.”

He later revealed journalists had approached him at his home to comment on the controversy.