A psychology professor has said that the BBC "had almost no choice” but to sack presenter Danny Baker, after he posted a tweet in which he joked about the royal baby using a picture of a monkey.
Baker, who had been a presenter on BBC 5 Live, posted a photo of man and woman holding hands with a chimpanzee in a suit, alongside the caption: “Royal baby leaves hospital”.
Professor Sir Cary Cooper, from the University of Manchester said it was a “pretty big mistake” for Baker to make.
He told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “The BBC had almost no choice. They have certain values.
“We all make mistakes in life but this is a professional mistake.”
He added: “It is difficult for the BBC because they are funded by the rest of us. They have to make judgement calls about where they draw the line.”
In an online apology, Baker described the people criticising him as “diseased”.
"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,” he wrote.
"Soon as those good enough to point out it's possible connotations got in touch, down it came. And that's it."
Professor Cooper suggested that Baker’s apology was also a “mistake”.
“You might say that his problem is a lack of sensitivity to the imagery that is what he made a mistake on,” he said.
“He should have known that but he did not know that and that is insensitivity.
“In terms of apologies, what he should have done is just owned up and say that he had made a mistake.
“Saying that people are interpreting ‘wrongly’ is not a smart way of going about it.”