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Thursday, January 21, 1999 Published at 17:04 GMT


Baker booted by Talk Radio

Danny Baker, Chris Evans and Paul Gascoigne out on the town

Broadcaster Danny Baker has been sacked by Talk Radio after a row about his new breakfast show.

The national speech station has signed up comedian Bob Mills to replace him on the four-hour Saturday morning programme.

It is thought that Baker, who started his media career on music paper NME in the 1970s, wanted to play more music on his show. But station bosses wanted more sport on the show.

Programme controller Bill Ridley said: "I can certainly confirm we let him go. He was sacked. He was asked to do a soccer-related show and he didn't do it. It was over the lack of soccer content."

But Mr Baker said of his departure: "I couldn't be more pleased."

Sacked by BBC two years ago

[ image: Kelvin Mackenzie: New man in charge at Talk Radio]
Kelvin Mackenzie: New man in charge at Talk Radio
Baker joined the station two years ago after being sacked by BBC Radio 5 Live over his controversial comments on his Six-O-Six football phone-in. He hosted the original Radio 5's breakfast show, in addition to stints on Radio 1 and the BBC's London station GLR. He has also worked on TV shows for BBC One and London Weekend Television.

His Talk Radio show ran at the same time as Six-O-Six, and he frequently used the slot to berate his successor at 5 Live, former cabinet minister David Mellor.

After a consortium headed by former Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie bought Talk Radio late last year, the Radio Authority gave the station permission to play more music and Baker was moved to the Saturday morning slot.

Baker's show was produced by Chris Evans' company Ginger Productions. He also works as a writer on Evans' Channel 4 TV show TFI Friday.

Notoriously, the duo were seen out on a drinking binge with footballer Paul Gascoigne in March 1998, which is thought to have contributed to Gascoigne being left out of the England squad for the World Cup.

Baker's agent Alex Armitage said: "He's one of the best broadcasters of his generation."

He claimed three stations were already bidding to sign him up. One likely home for Baker could be Virgin Radio - which is owned by Chris Evans.

Bob Mills said of his new job: "I usually spend Saturday morning on the phone talking to mates about sport, anyway.

"Now, Talk Radio are paying me to do it on national radio."

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