Broadcaster Danny Baker has performed his first live show since a tweet which led to accusations of racism and him being sacked by the BBC.
He addressed “the elephant in the room” at the start, describing his tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby as “revolting” and “misjudged”.
However, he again denied being racist.
The show at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal ended with a standing ovation and Baker describing it as “one of the greatest nights of my career”.
He had invited anyone who wanted to heckle to do so at the start of the show, but none could be heard.
“I genuinely didn’t know what the atmosphere was going to be like tonight,” the 61-year-old told the audience.
“You wouldn’t believe how I was feeling 20 minutes ago but I’m so pleased so let’s do this.
“When life deals you lemons, you chuck them at the people calling you a racist.”
Baker was sacked from presenting his Saturday morning show on BBC 5 Live last week after he was accused of mocking the duchess’s racial heritage.
His tweet showed an image of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee dressed in clothes with the caption: “Royal Baby leaves hospital”.
He quickly deleted it and subsequently apologised but denied there was any racist intent behind it.
‘I don’t know why he did it’
Caroline Lowbridge, BBC News, Nottingham Theatre Royal
The audience at the Theatre Royal was packed, despite some people admitting they had been in two minds about going.
Simon Robinson, from Colston Bassett in Nottinghamshire, said: “I think it [the tweet] was absolutely stupid and I have to say he went down in my estimation.
“I don’t know why he did it. Whichever baby he did it to it’s not a nice thing to do. I just didn’t find it funny.”
Steve Fletcher, from Nottingham, felt the photo was intended to be about “the circus that follows around the royal family”.
“If you have followed anything about his career there probably isn’t a racist bone in his body. It’s just a mistake,” he said.
Baker told the audience the show would “ironically” be about the times his “career … had hit a brick wall”.
“Topically, here we are again,” he said.
Before leaving the stage, Baker said: “I do want to say this and I’m not milking it but it’s been one of the greatest nights of my career tonight, it really has.
“Nottingham, I love you. Thank you for coming out.”