Danny Baker sacked from 5 Live over chimp tweet

Danny Baker has been sacked from his Saturday morning slot on BBC Radio 5 Live, after apologising for a tweet about the royal baby.

He posted an image on Wednesday evening showing a clothed chimpanzee holding hands with a couple, along with the caption ‘Royal Baby leaves hospital’. He quickly deleted the tweet after accusations it was racist, but screengrabs been shared widely on social media and used by the national press.

Danny had apologised for what he called a ‘stupid unthinking gag’, and now says he’s been sacked, saying “Just got fired from @bbc5live. For the record – it was red sauce. Always.”

A BBC spokesperson told RadioToday: “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.”

Danny went on to say that the phone call he received to sack him was a “masterclass of pompous faux-gravity”.

In a series of Tweets on Wednesday night, Danny 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 it’s possible connotations got in touch, down it came. And that’s it. Now stand by for sweary football tweets.”

“I see my silly unthinking gag pic earlier has me trending. Last time that happened it had been announced I had head cancer. On balance…”

“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.”

Danny has been in the Saturday morning slot on 5 Live for almost 10 years – since September 2009. He has previously presented 606, and was also part of the original Radio 5 team 1990-1993 before a move to Radio 1. He’s also worked at the original Talk Radio, Virgin Radio, Radio 2 and BBC GLR / Radio London, where he famously talked about his sacking on air in November 2012.

More recently he’s been presenting a podcast series on football with Gary Lineker. He spoke to RadioToday’s Trevor Dann in 2017 about why no-one would give him a daily radio show, saying he was “dangerous” to radio managers’ careers, “not to an audience and not to a radio station”.

Geoff Lloyd is now appearing on the 5 Live schedule in Danny’s Saturday morning slot.

Here’s some of the reaction from Twitter

Defending Danny on LBC, James O’Brien said: “He often talks about chimpanzees dressed as famous people without any racial subtext whatsoever. Obviously the subtext changes hugely when the gag is applied to a child of ethnic minority. It changes, of course it does, but I don’t think that was even close to Danny Baker’s brain when he sent that tweet because he does loads of stuff about monkeys and apes dressed as human beings.

“The massive racist history of the conflation of gorillas and apes with people of colour is disgusting and I’m afraid it’s a matter of historical record. But I don’t think Danny Baker did that.”

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16 Comments
  1. Richard says

    He should of thought about it more, had he been in the pub, at the time?

  2. Mark Budgen says

    He’ll end up back on Talksport. They like a certain type of person on there.

  3. Dookie Cabron says

    Oh, Danny…..(slowly shakes head) you silly silly man…..

  4. J James says

    Lovely comparison of Nigel Lawson and Timmy mallett…😂😂😂

  5. Radio Producer says

    A salutary lesson, one or three presenters on certain other stations should be aware of….. You ain’t bigger than the station, no matter what your figures are!
    No sympathy!

    1. Radio Geordie says

      He’ll no doubt be reinstated in a few months time.

      1. MARTIN HOLMES says

        Here`s hoping

  6. neal says

    Not condoning but with the complete mess this country is currently in is this really all we have to worry about? Yes is obviously the answer! For heaven’s sake get a grip!

  7. T1 says

    Such a Shame that someone with great talent comes with such a pompous attitude.

  8. Joe Smith says

    He made a mistake but the way his tweet was interpreted says far more about those people than it does about him. And none of it good.

  9. Radio Geordie says

    Just like the Ginger whinger, he’ll do anything for a bit of publicity.
    And James O’Brien is defending the indefensible. My guess is that they’re mates.
    Danny Baker thinks he’s funny & what he did was funny. I’ve never found him funny. In fact, I’ve have farts that were funnier than him.

    30 years ago he could get away with that, but not now. If he thinks that the people who pointed out how racist the picture was have “deseased minds” what does that say about him?

    Pinheaded Weasel springs to mind.

    1. Joe Smith says

      Thank you for proving the point I made earlier so conclusively.

  10. MICHAEL BOLTON says

    I can see why people look for bad in some things – we live in cynical times
    But sometimes it really is not there
    We are all capable of being foolish – it’s really easy to live in a big glass house – before we all point and judge (especially on twitter)
    Jon Ronson has covered it fairly and well

  11. bradley walters says

    Danny’ll be on LBC soon as Steve Allen has said far worse on air and is STILL broadcasting. Global has more of a backbone than the BBC.

  12. Mike says

    The Ginger Whinger! I’d forgotton all about Chris Evans. Is he still broadcasting on a minority station somewhere?

  13. ciaran flavin says

    bbc should have shown more maturity and not sacked danny baker. They sacked Tony 3 years ago for nothing and Kenny Everett in 1970.
    I dont consider Danny to be a great broadcaster but what you see is what you get. i heard on fri he came out of i’m a celebriyt first in 2016 and that is probably because he does not play up to the cameras.

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