Gary Lineker defends Danny Baker over 'racist' tweet that got him sacked from BBC Radio 5 Live when he compared Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's baby Archie to a chimpanzee

  • Baker sacked for tweeting picture of a couple leaving hospital with a chimpanzee
  • It came just two days after Meghan Markle gave birth to her son Archie in May
  • The former BBC Radio 5Live host captioned image: 'Royal baby leaves hospital'
  • Match Of The Day host Lineker, 58, said Baker, 62, hadn't meant to cause offence

Gary Lineker has today defended Danny Baker over the BBC Radio 5Live host's 'racist' tweet about the Duchess of Sussex.

Baker, 62, was sacked over the phone after tweeting a picture of a couple leaving hospital with a chimpanzee, just two days after Meghan Markle gave birth to baby Archie on May 6.

He captioned the image: 'Royal baby leaves hospital.'

But Match Of The Day presenter Lineker, 58, said Baker had not meant to cause offence.

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Gary Lineker (left) has defended Danny Baker (right) following the BBC Radio 5Live host's 'racist' tweet about the Duchess of Sussex

Gary Lineker (left) has defended Danny Baker (right) following the BBC Radio 5Live host's 'racist' tweet about the Duchess of Sussex

The BBC Radio 5 Live host sparked outrage after he uploaded this image of a couple clinging on to a monkey wearing a suit with the caption: 'Royal baby leaves hospital'

The BBC Radio 5 Live host sparked outrage after he uploaded this image of a couple clinging on to a monkey wearing a suit with the caption: 'Royal baby leaves hospital'

Lineker (pictured during the interview in which he made the remarks) hosts the Behind Closed Doors podcast with Baker

Lineker (pictured during the interview in which he made the remarks) hosts the Behind Closed Doors podcast with Baker

The former England striker, who hosts the Behind Closed Doors podcast with Baker, claimed Baker would not have been aware Archie Mountbatten-Windsor was mixed race.

He told Joe.co.uk: 'Clearly the tweet had racist connotations, we all know that. But it was not deliberate in any way, shape, or form.'

Lineker claimed Baker did not know it was Meghan having a child and that the former broadcaster did not even have a mobile phone to keep up with the news.

Lineker (pictured) said: 'He was trying to have a dig at entitlement basically, and I think privilege. 'He tweeted this thing and within seconds people are saying ''woah, Danny, what are you doing? This is racist!''

Lineker (pictured) said: 'He was trying to have a dig at entitlement basically, and I think privilege. 'He tweeted this thing and within seconds people are saying ''woah, Danny, what are you doing? This is racist!''

Lineker continued: 'He was trying to have a dig at entitlement basically, and I think privilege.

'He tweeted this thing and within seconds people are saying ''woah, Danny, what are you doing? This is racist!''

'So it was obviously a mistake. It was a very big mistake, one that he paid dearly for by losing his job.'

Lineker added that if he thought Baker 'was racist in any way shape or form I wouldn't be working with him'.

The former England striker claimed Baker would not have been aware Archie Mountbatten-Windsor (pictured with the Sussexes) was mixed race

The former England striker claimed Baker would not have been aware Archie Mountbatten-Windsor (pictured with the Sussexes) was mixed race

Baker, who has 500,000 Twitter followers, quickly deleted the tweet and apologised.

He 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.'

Baker also claimed at the time he had not known it was Meghan who had given birth.

But social media erupted and accused him of racism due to Meghan's heritage, with her black mother Doria Ragland and white father Thomas Markle.

Baby Archie made his very first public appearance at a photocall alongside a thrilled Prince Harry and Meghan in the grounds of Windsor Castle on May 8

Baby Archie made his very first public appearance at a photocall alongside a thrilled Prince Harry and Meghan in the grounds of Windsor Castle on May 8

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 on May 9. He revealed he told station chiefs to 'f*** off.'

But he later described it as a 'stupid unthinking gag'.

He said at the time: '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.'

It marked the third time Baker had been sacked by the BBC, after he was dismissed by Five Live in 1997 in a row over a referee and in 2012, when his BBC London show was axed.

Danny Baker: One of Britain's original 'shock jocks' whose relationship with the BBC has been anything but smooth 

Danny Baker's sacking is history repeating itself - the BBC has axed the DJ before.

BBC Radio 5 Live dropped Baker's soccer phone-in show in 1997 when the broadcaster's news chief Tony Hall, now the corporation's director general, said he had crossed 'the line between being humorous and controversial and being insulting'.

He was ousted from his Wednesday slot, The Baker Line, and turned down an offer to continue his Saturday lunchtime programme.

The DJ has been unafraid to publicly criticise his BBC bosses, calling them 'pinheaded weasels'.

Danny Baker, pictured in 2013, has today been sacked by the BBC for the third time

Danny Baker, pictured in 2013, has today been sacked by the BBC for the third time

In 2012, he launched an on-air rant against them, after his BBC London 94.9 show was also axed, days before he was due to be inducted into the Radio Academy Hall of Fame.

Baker complained about the pay his co-hosts were given and said he hoped the decision-makers 'choked' on their abacus beads.

He added: 'By the way, nice way to treat a bloke who had cancer.'

Baker's agent Alex Armitage claimed at the time that he was dropped as a result of cuts in the budget to the local radio network.

Baker in 2012, when his BBC London radio show was axed

Baker in 2012, when his BBC London radio show was axed

Two years previously, Baker announced he had been diagnosed with cancer.

He endured months of agonising treatment and years of recovery for neck and head cancer and had a period off-air while he underwent treatment.

In 2016, the DJ was the first celebrity to leave I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! despite being the last person in.

'My winning personality once again descends upon the nation,' he quipped at the time.

He denied he was a bully in the jungle following a confrontation with Homes Under The Hammer host Martin Roberts.

'I'm not responsible for a bloke who breaks down and cries after I've picked him up because he's having a go at one of the girls in there,' he said.

Baker made his name as a journalist on the punk fanzine Sniffin' Glue before going on to work at NME and launching a career in TV and radio.

Also known as a scriptwriter for his friend Chris Evans, he became a roving reporter for London ITV magazine programme The Six O'Clock Show and presented programmes such as Win, Lose Or Draw and Pets Win Prizes.

But he previously told Desert Island Discs: 'I don't feel that's somehow lucky when you look around at some of the half-wits and boss-eyed bozos who people this business and they are running departments.

'So all of this is an anthill that somebody has kicked over and I happen to be one of the more bumptious ants.'

He added: 'The television shows I've done have been an appalling waste of time ... My mind is whizzing with them. A show called The Bottom Line that was no good, I've done a thing called Sitcom Showdown that was ridiculous.

Gary Lineker defends Danny Baker over 'racist' tweet that got him sacked from BBC Radio 5 Live

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