Sacked Radio 5 Live host Danny Baker says he 'DIDN'T KNOW it was Meghan who had given birth' when he sent 'offensive' monkey tweet about Royal baby as BBC friends rally behind him (21 Pics)

Danny Baker has claimed he didn't know it was Meghan who had given birth after he was sacked by the BBC for a tweet of a couple with a monkey tagged 'Royal baby leaves hospital'.   
The Radio 5 Live host said he had been 'literally thrown under the bus' by 'pompous' BBC bosses after he was fired over the phone this morning. He revealed he told station chiefs to 'f*** off.'
The broadcaster, 61, who denied he was racist as he spoke on the doorstep of his £2million home, sparked outrage after uploading the image. He quickly deleted it  and described it as a 'stupid unthinking gag'.
Today he said that he was unaware of who the mother of the baby even was: 'I didn't know which of our royal princesses had given birth. 
'My go-to photo when any posh people have a baby is this absurd chimpanzee in a top hat leaving the hospital.
'Had it not been Meghan - perfectly good joke. I was trying to make a point about class and it's just preposterous.'  
He posted the image just hours after Prince Harry and Meghan, whose mother Doria Ragland is African American, showed off baby Archie to the world at Windsor Castle yesterday. 
As Baker was slated online, he also won the support of some celebrity friends, including the former Tory MP and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth, radio host Iain Lee, who said he was 'gutted' for him, and former Five Live host Richard Bacon.
He told MailOnline from his home in Blackheath, south east London this morning that he was 'shocked at my own foolishness'  and uploaded 'a silly photo for a joke.'
Later he revealed that he had told the head of BBC Five Live to 'f*** off' and said the phone call was a 'masterclass of pompous faux-gravity' when told he would no longer be working at the station.
It is the third time Baker has been sacked by the BBC, after he was dismissed by Five Live in 1997 in a row over a referee and in in 2012, when his BBC London show was axed. 
Baker later claimed that there were 'other broadcasters they wouldn't have done that to' as many observers pointed out that the BBC failed to sack Apprentice star Alan Sugar after he compared the Senegal football team to beach sellers in Spain.
The broadcaster said he had became infuriated with the BBC when told he had 'meant' to be racist by tweeting the picture of a chimpanzee in a hat being led out of a hospital by human parents.  
Baker told MailOnline today about the moment he was sacked: 'Basically they said to me 'you meant that tweet' I said to them 'you think so?
'And I said, 'well f*** you and f*** off'.
'So, by mutual agreement my employment was terminated. 'They did not give me a chance to apologise.
'But I'm not very temperate anyway when people want to get rid of me. There's no conversation.
'But for them to throw us under the bus.
'They wouldn't have done it to certain Radio Four presenters. They would have had them in to discuss it.'
Baker said he understood that the tweet could give offence but was angered that his employer failed to listen to him.
Recalling his dismissal, he said: 'In a shocking faux-portentous gravitas way, [he said] 'We found this to be abhorrent.'
'Yes it was [abhorrent]. And I was aware of the context of it I took it down.
'So I said 'F*** you, f*** off.'
He continued: 'If I had had a grandchild yesterday I would have put that photo up. Once I was made aware of the context I said 'oh shit' and took it down.
'But now the idea that I must have known…horse sh**. I do understand all of this. I get it.
'But for Five Live to chuck us under the bus, come one.'
Asked what his listeners would think about the recent he events he said: 'I'm going to go onto twitter in a minute in an orgy of self-congratulation. 
'I have been doing this for 40-odd years. I have been fired before by the BBC, twice.
'I am annoying ebullient. If you are accused of the kind of grotesque racism that you are not you do not wring your hands. No. ill-advised, ill-thought-out, stupid. But racist? No. I'm aware how delicate that imagery is.
'If people think I followed the royal birth and was waiting to spring that.'
Attempting to explain the disastrous tweet Baker said: 'I saw royal baby called Archie. I did a very funny joke about 'under the arches'.
'And then I thought oh I know, the posh chimp in the thing [hat].
'If Boris Johnson had a kid yesterday it would have been the monkey in the top hat because it's a thing about class and privilege and all of this.'

Baker admitted he knew he would be fired as the storm about his tweet grew.
He said: 'This is bound to happened once it had ignited on twitter.'
He later added on his doorstep: 'I didn't know which of our royal princesses had given birth. Otherwise you'd got to be thinking I'd been secretly waiting to make this grotesque joke. There's no truth to it.
'I've been doing a thing on the radio for years of famous people dressed as monkeys with fairground music.
'My go-to photo when any posh people have a baby is this absurd chimpanzee in a top hat leaving the hospital.
'Had it not been Meghan - perfectly good joke. I was trying to make a point about class and it's just preposterous.'   
Today he told LBC he 'understand(s) entirely' why he was sacked from the BBC, but that he is upset over the way it was handled.
He said he was 'given a lecture which I terminated after about 30 seconds with a couple of words that I'll leave you to fill in.'
He added: 'But even if your bosses up there, and they'd rang you up like some junior that they... going 'We feel that the BBC must...', shut up!

'Ring us up and just say, 'Look, we know what's going on here but you've really loused this one up', absolutely.'
Baker said he was 'not particularly' rattled over the sacking.
He said: 'I've been doing this game long enough to understand exactly how this has happened and where I am, I totally get that.
'But what I can't do, is where the sacking on what grounds saying, 'Oh, it was only a joke,' - it wasn't only a joke, it was a mistake, a real huge blunder.' 
Just minutes after Baker took the phone call telling him he was dismissed, he wrote on Twitter that he had been 'fired'  adding: 'It was red sauce, always' in reference to a game played on his show.
In a follow up post he added: '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.'
The BBC confirmed his sacking today, saying in a statement: '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.'
In an email to staff on Thursday morning, 5 Live controller Jonathan Wall wrote: 'I have just spoken to Danny Baker and let him know that he will no longer be presenting his weekly show with us. 
'Danny made a serious error of judgement on social media last night and it goes against the values we live and breathe on this radio station.
'Danny has been a brilliant broadcaster for us and I want to thank him for his work with us on Saturday mornings over the last few years.' 
After news of his sacking emerged, scores of social media users took to Twitter.
Some said he was right to be dismissed, but others, including broadcaster and Tory MP Gyles Brandreth defended him, saying he had not meant to be racist.
He wrote: 'All I'll say is: when it comes to trying to be funny, everyone makes mistakes. All I know is that Danny Baker is a great broadcaster, a fine writer and one of the most decent & delightful guys in the business.  
'I'm honoured to know him.'
There were also claims from others accusing the BBC of double standards, after they failed to sack Alan Sugar after he compared the Senegal football team to beach sellers in Spain.
One wrote today: 'Without question Danny Baker's tweet was in incredibly bad taste. But if @BBC are going to sack him, yet leave Lord Alan Sugar in place, then there are bigger issues here than Baker's mistake. Horrific BBC judgement here.
Another said: 'I realise the answer is probably 'because Alan Sugar has a more expensive lawyer' but the BBC is all over the place when it comes to sacking people for racism.
And another added 'Dear BBC, why did you not sack Alan Sugar then? #doublestandards.'
The BBC declined to comment on the claims. 
 Earlier today after the backlash continued to mount he told Baker told MailOnline: 'I put up a silly photo for a joke. It was monkey in a top hat or something.
'I would have put it up for anyone. I apologised and I took it down when it was pointed out.
'Once I realised [that it was offensive] I took it down.' 
Asked if he is a racist the BBC 5 Live broadcaster replied: 'No of course I'm not a racist. Not in the slightest. 
'It was obviously a mistake.
'I have made a full apology. Yes of course I've made a full apology.
'I put up silly pictures all the time. But that's all. I think even you must realise that it was a mistake.
'I'm shocked at my own foolishness.' 
After he removed the image following the huge backlash against him, Baker wrote: '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.' 
Baker, who has appeared on ITV's I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! added: 'Connection never occurred to me till people were good enough to enlighten. 
'Little fella in posh suit. Anyway, deleted now.' 
As the outrage continued to pour in, Baker wrote: '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.'   
It isn't the first time the presenter has faced controversy.
He was sacked from 5 Live in 1997 when bosses said he had incited threatening behaviour in an outburst over a referee.
And in 2012 he attacked the BBC on Twitter and on air after his show was cancelled. 
Twitter users had called on the BBC to sack him following the tweet, which came just hours after Prince Harry and Meghan revealed baby Archie to the world.
One wrote: 'Danny Baker posts an image comparing Archie - a Royal newborn with African heritage, to an APE. 
'Danny Baker should be sacked this morning!!!' 
Another wrote: 'RACIST RACIST RACIST Danny Baker should be given today to resign and clear his desk.
'If he is still there at 16.59 @bbc MUST FIRE HIM! I'm disgusted by the hate and racism inherent in his Tweet Unforgivable HE's not fit to be a broadcaster employed from the public purse. 
Another said: 'Wow that didn't take long. 
'Royal Baby is just two days old and he's already being trolled by Danny Baker who has compared him to a chimpanzee...and Baker claims he's not racist.'
Another added: 'His defence? His 'mind is not diseased!' Is there a pic of Danny Baker introducing his career to a toilet?
Another said: 'Sorry, Danny Baker needs to go. There's far too much tolerance of racism - the country is really in danger of slipping into a murky and ignorant abyss, a sludge made up of xenophobia, racial intolerance and insenstivity.'
'A genuine lack of intelligence. Make it stop.'
And another added: 'Danny Baker needs to be sacked with immediate effect for his racist tweet and then offered what he thought was an apology which was anything but. He is a pathetic excuse of a man.
'BBC need to do the right thing. His behaviour is appalling.' 
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