The BBC has fired radio host Danny Baker after he tweeted an image depicting the royal baby as a chimp, sparking accusations of racism which he has strenuously denied on Twitter.

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

The then-BBC 5 Live host said the tweet was supposed to be a “joke about Royals vs circus animals in posh clothes” but deleted it as soon as he saw it was being interpreted as a racist comment about monkeys and race. He said he never considered the racial connotations of his gag because his “mind [is] not diseased.” Not everyone believed his explanation, though.

“This was a serious error of judgment and goes against the values we as a station aim to embody,” BBC said in a statement about his dismissal. “Danny’s a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us.”

Baker later tweeted to say that his firing was “a masterclass of pompous faux-gravity” and claimed the BBC “literally threw me under the bus,” adding the hashtag “f**kem.”

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