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BBC Fires Longtime Presenter Danny Baker Over Royal Baby Chimp Tweet

”Was supposed to be joke about Royals vs circus animals in posh clothes but interpreted as about monkeys & race, so rightly deleted,“ Baker says in his apology

The BBC fired longtime presenter and DJ Danny Baker on Thursday over a racially-suggestive tweet about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s newborn baby.

The now-deleted tweet showed a photo of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee dressed in clothes with the caption: “Royal Baby leaves hospital.”

“This was a serious error of judgement,” a BBC statement said in response, adding that 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.”

The former 5 Live presenter initially apologized for the joke, saying: “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.”

Shortly afterward, he also shared the news of his dismissal: “Just got fired from @bbc5live. For the record – it was red sauce. Always.”

Baker did not go out quietly, however, and went on to criticize the manner in which he was sacked, tweeting: “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,” he said, signing off with, “F–k em.”

The social media gaff came after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex presented their baby to the world on Wednesday while revealing that he will be named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

Markle has been a target of racist abuse across social media since announcing her pregnancy and in March, Kensington Palace staff announced they would devote more resources to deleting comments targeting the Duchess of Sussex, and to blocking abusive Twitter and Instagram accounts, according to CNN.

Baker, 61, has been a popular talent at the BBC since the 1990s, hosting the late-night show “Danny Baker After All,” multiple BBC radio sports shows, and helming his own BBC Radio 1 morning spot.

His Saturday morning show on BBC 5 Live won him a Sony Gold award for Speech Radio Personality of the Year in 2011, 2012 and 2014 and a Gold Award for entertainment show of the year in 2013.

See Baker’s tweets below.

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