Baker's show not axed to save money

Danny Baker Danny Baker has hit out after his show was axed

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The BBC has issued a statement contradicting Danny Baker's claims that his BBC London 94.9 show was axed to save money.

The DJ, who is 55 and has been broadcasting his show on BBC London since 2001, told his listeners that his show had been cancelled on air on Thursday afternoon.

As he opened his programme, which broadcasts daily from 3 to 5pm, the DJ said: 'This may be the last one [show] we ever do ... The BBC have cancelled my show for financial reasons'. He added that no one from the station had rung to tell him the news.

But a BBC spokesperson told Ariel: '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.'

After the news was announced, Baker turned to Twitter and sent some strongly worded messages. One of the tweets said: 'Deep thanks to everyone who has responded about the radio. We dwell amid pinheaded weasels who know only timid, the generic and the abacus.'

Messages of support have been sent to the DJ on the social media website. Among those who have sent sympathetic tweets are Rob Brydon, Caitlin Moran and Stephen Mangan.

Baker was born in Deptford, southeast London, and has had a varied career including working in a record shop, establishing music magazines, journalism and a varied career in radio.

He began his radio career at GLR in 1989. Since then he has worked on Radio 1 and he still hosts a Saturday show on BBC Radio 5 live, which a BBC spokesperson said would continue.

Baker was diagnosed with throat and mouth cancer two years ago and recovered after losing a considerable amount of weight.

A BBC spokeswoman confirmed that Baker would not be presenting the show on Friday. 'Danny's decided to take a day off. Gary Crowley will be standing in for him', she said.

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