Baker's blokeish bubble finally bursts

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The Independent Online
Like the bubbles in the football fans' song, Danny Baker, the motor-mouth radio and television presenter, may have climbed too high. Baker, the embodiment of "bloke" culture, was yesterday sacked by BBC Radio 5 Live for encouraging fans to make a referee's life hell after the official awarded a controversial penalty in the Leicester v Chelsea FA Cup tie last week.

Baker made his name as the football fans' champion on the London radio station GLR in the late Eighties, before presenting his own BBC 1 chat show and endorsing soap powder. Recently he has returned to radio, although he is still a scriptwriter for his friend Chris Evans's TFI Friday show on Channel 4.

During his Wednesday evening radio show last week he also encouraged journalists to: "Go out and doorstep the referee like he was a member of Oasis." Baker harangued callers to his show, The Baker Line, who disagreed with his view of the penalty. Last year he got into trouble for telling Tottenham fans, angry at their team's performance, to throw their match programmes on to the pitch - which is against the law.

Roger Mosey, controller of Radio 5 Live, said Baker's outbursts could no longer be tolerated. "This wasn't the first occasion when he crossed the dividing line between being lively, humorous and controversial and being insulting to the audience."

Baker refused to continue working for Radio 5 Live on his Sunday afternoon show, but will stay with GLR for the time being.

But not all of his bubbles have burst. Talk Radio, the commercial radio station which made a failed bid to lure Chris Evans when he walked out of Radio 1 in January, claims it will have Baker on air "in the very near future".

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