BBC sacks presenter who tweeted on royal baby chimp
Broadcaster Danny Baker has been fired by the BBC over his “stupid unthinking gag” on Twitter about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new baby.
The now deleted tweet, which has been circulated on social media, showed an image of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee dressed in clothes with the caption: “Royal Baby leaves hospital”.
The 5 live presenter was accused of mocking the duchess’s racial heritage.
A BBC spokesperson said: “This was a serious error of judgement.”
The corporation added that Mr Baker’s tweet “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.”
Harry and Meghan, whose mother Doria Ragland is African American, revealed on Wednesday their new son was named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
After an initial backlash on social media, Baker said: “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 its possible connotations got in touch, down it came. And that’s it.”
The 61-year-old presented a weekend show on 5 live.
Earlier, Baker told his half a million followers on Twitter that he has been doorstepped by reporters at his home, saying he was asked: “Do you think black people look like monkeys?”
His tweet added: “No mate. Gag pic. Posh baby chimp. Alerted to circs. Appalled. Deleted. Apologised.”
In a following tweet, he added: “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.”
It’s the second time the controversial presenter has been axed by 5 live and the third time he has been sacked by the BBC.
In 1997, he was fired for encouraging football fans to make a referee’s life hell after the official had awarded a controversial penalty in an FA Cup tie.
In 2012, he was was back in the news after an on-air rant branding his bosses at BBC London “pinheaded weasels” after his show was axed.
“It’s a dirty rotten shame and a rotten way they did it,” he said at the time. “Nobody phoned me. Apparently they were planning on getting round to telling me.”