Danny Baker hits out at BBC as it axes his London radio show

By | Published on Friday 2 November 2012

Danny Baker

Popular presenter Danny Baker hit out at the BBC yesterday after the Corporation’s London radio station axed his daily show amidst costcutting across the Beeb’s English local radio network.

Baker seemed partly pissed off that BBC London bosses had selected his show for the axe, and partly about the way they had communicated the decision to him. The BBC hoped to park Baker’s afternoon show at the end of the year, but the DJ announced that yesterday would be his last stint for the London station.

Hitting out at BBC bosses on his own show – at times in a fashion reminiscent of Dave Lee Travis’s infamous on-air resignation from Radio 1 in 1993 (in DLT’s case, in response to then R1 chief Matthew Bannister’s attempts to drag the nation’s favourite out of the 1970s) – Baker said: “The show’s been cancelled by the BBC. They don’t want this any more. It’s a dirty rotten shame and a rotten way they did it. Nobody phoned me. Apparently they were planning on getting round to telling me. I don’t want to go, I make no bones about it”.

BBC London is having to shave 16% off its running costs, while also battling with declining listening figures, though Baker suggested savings could be made by “getting rid of two thirds of the middle management” who are “clinging like limpets to a very great uncreative life”. Baker stated that he was paid £300 a show after deductions.

Baker isn’t the only on-air victim of the cuts, Gaby Roslin is also departing the station’s breakfast show, though the axing of the critically acclaimed, awarding winning afternoon show is likely to be the most controversial element of BBC London’s upcoming revamp.

Baker added that the London station was now “sleepwalking to oblivion; one show had to go and it was us – it was just not generic enough”. Widely regarded as one of British radio’s best presenters, few expect Baker to stay off the air for long, with other stations likely to be keen to snap him up, plus he will continue to present his other show for another BBC station, 5 Live, on Saturday mornings.