The Malta Independent 26 September 2021, Sunday

BBC fires presenter over royal baby chimpanzee tweet

Thursday, 9 May 2019, 13:59 Last update: about 3 years ago

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 BBC reports.

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.

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A BBC spokesperson said: "This was a serious error of judgement."

The 61-year-old presented a weekend show on the network.

The corporation added 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."

After tweeting an apology, calling his tweet a "stupid unthinking gag pic", Baker tweeted about the BBC's decision, saying: "The call to fire me... 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," he added. "Literally threw me under the bus. Could hear the suits' knees knocking."

Speaking to the media outside his house, he told reporters: "I do not, not understand all of this, I get it. But for 5 Live to chuck us under the bus like this, dear lord."

When quizzed on what he would do next, he added: "I'm annoyingly ebullient and if you're accused of the kind of grotesque racism but you're not, you don't wring your hands. Ill advised, ill thought out and stupid but racist? No, I'm aware how delicate that imagery is."

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