A BBC radio DJ who joked during a live broadcast that the Queen had died has been taken off air for a week, a spokesman said today.
Danny Kelly, 39, told BBC WM listeners he had an important announcement to make before saying: "Queen Elizabeth II has now died."
The DJ played the national anthem as he made the joke during his weekday afternoon slot yesterday, which is broadcast from the corporation's Birmingham base to listeners across the West Midlands.
The show was today presented by BBC WM presenter Mollie Green, who will fill in for Kelly until next Tuesday, the corporation said.
Opening the two-hour programme, Ms Green said: "Yesterday afternoon Danny Kelly made an inappropriate remark about the Queen during his radio show here on BBC WM.
"The BBC apologises unreservedly for it. BBC WM takes these comments very seriously and due action has been taken."
The BBC would not comment on the exact nature of the action it had taken but sources said the DJ had been suspended for one week without pay.
It is believed the joke was a reference to a fan on the show's Facebook page.
A BBC spokesman said: "Although made as part of a light-hearted piece about social media friends, and corrected on-air immediately after it was made, the comment was entirely inappropriate and the BBC apologises unreservedly for it.
"There was no intention to offend."
On the BBC WM website Danny Kelly is described as having a "unique brand of humour". A short statement alongside his picture reads, "You never know what will happen next, but it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face".