Danny Baker calls BBC bosses 'pinheaded weasels' after revealing his BBC London 94.9 show The Treehouse is to be axed just a week before he is inducted into the Radio Academy Hall of Fame

 

As if the BBC was not already suffering from enough self-inflicted damage, it today axed an award-winning show by one of its most popular presenters, Danny Baker.

And if any of its stars was not going to go quietly it was Baker, a prolific user of Twitter who today deployed the social media platform - and then the corporation's own airwaves - to castigate the "pinheaded weasels" in BBC management who had approved the cost-cutting measure.

The timing of the decision could hardly have been worse, coming the week before Baker, is to be inducted into the Radio Academy's Hall of Fame. The presenter is already a multiple Sony Gold winner at the radio industry's annual awards.

The BBC is facing a management crisis over the Jimmy Savile scandal and was anxious to avoid further negative publicity by asking Baker not to mention the demise of his show on BBC London, known as The Treehouse.

But Baker, who returned to broadcasting last year after seven months off air fighting cancer, predictably took no notice. "BBC asked me not to say anything just yet about axing best show on British Radio. Why? Because it's embarrassing? Because they'll look bad?"

Baker, who uses the Twitter name @prodnose, then began tweeting supportive comments from celebrity supporters including comedian Ross Noble - who described him as "our greatest radio talent" - and Stephen Fry - who described the BBC managers as "Dickwits".

A comment from Rob Brydon mocked the BBC's decision to drop Baker's show, the comedian saying he had "had it up to here with his wit, warmth and originality".

When the BBC publicity machine attempted to neuter Baker's criticisms by suggesting that it was discussing alternative creative opportunities with the South London presenter, he promptly returned to the Internet to argue the opposite. "BBC London and I are NOT in discussion about a new weekly show. In fact, I haven't heard a single word from them at all."

The BBC should have seen it coming. When rumours first began to surface last year that Baker's show was to be a victim of budget cuts to BBC local radio he immediately went public. The BBC insisted no final decisions had been made and the show appeared to have been given a reprieve.

Today Baker used the last segment of his show to tear into his employers. "Community? London? You weasels wouldn't know the meaning of the word." He told listeners that the managers who had cut his programme "should have choked on their abacuses".

He repeated the claim that BBC bosses had asked him to remain silent about the show's fate for another two weeks. "Nice way to treat a bloke who had cancer," he added.

Highlighting the BBC's other current problems he remarked to listeners that the organisation had paid more to Jimmy Savile in "six months" than Baker's co-presenters Amy Lame and Baylen Leonard had received in ten years.

Other BBC stars last night came forward to express their dismay at management's thinking. Gary Lineker said he was "flabbergasted". Comedy actor Stephen Mangan bemoaned a "bad, wrong and strange decision".

A BBC spokesperson said: “The decision wasn’t driven by savings. All stations from time to time refresh their schedules and this is no different. We’ve been talking to Danny Baker’s agent about a weekly programme.”

 

Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat

Arts and Entertainment
A sketch of Van Gogh has been discovered in the archives of Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
Arts and Entertainment
Fake Banksy stencil given to artist Alex Jakob-Whitworth

art

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee