Danny Baker makes formal apology for “shamefully racist” royal baby tweet

The DJ was fired from his BBC Radio 5 Live show for posting the tweet

(BBC)

Comedian and presenter Danny Baker has said that he is “so, so sorry” for posting the royal baby chimp tweet that saw him fired from his BBC Radio 5 Live show.

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Taking to Twitter again to issue a “formal apology”, Baker said the social media storm and subsequent sacking had been “one of the worst days of my life”.

“Following one of the worst days of my life I just want to formally apologise for the outrage I caused and explain how I got myself into this mess,” he wrote. “I chose the wrong photo to illustrate a joke. Disastrously so.”

He added that the picture – which showed a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee dressed in clothes, alongside the caption “Royal Baby leaves hospital” – was “shamefully racist” in context. However, Baker claimed that had not been his intention – “Seriously who on earth would ‘go there’?”

He also shared his thinking behind the tweet, saying he was attempting to “lampoon privilege [and] the news cycle”.

He said: “Minutes later I was alerted by followers that this royal baby was of course mixed race and waves of panic and revulsion washed over me. [F***], what had I done? I needed no lessons on the centuries slurs equating simians and people of colour. Racism at it’s basest.

“I would like once and for all to apologise to every single person who, quite naturally, took the awful connection at face value. I understand that and all of the clamour and opprobrium I have faced since. I am not feeling sorry for myself. I [f***ed] up. Badly.”

On Thursday 9th May, Baker’s tweet was immediately accused of being racist, although the DJ said “there wasn’t a single thought about race” when he tweeted the message.

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A BBC spokesperson confirmed to RadioTimes.com that Baker had been sacked by 5 Live, saying, “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.”