UPDATE: Missing Radio Sheffield host Toby Foster under investigation by BBC bosses after disappearing from airwaves

Toby Foster.
Toby Foster.

Popular BBC Radio Sheffield host Toby Foster is under investigation by bosses for his use of social media after a month-long absence from the airwaves.

The breakfast show presenter has denied he has been sacked by the station after rumours began circulating about his disappearance.

Now in a short statement, the BBC have confirmed that Foster is under investigation for his use of social media and that inquiries are continuing while he is off air.

A BBC spokesman said: "The impartiality of our journalism is of the utmost importance to us.

"We have clear social media guidelines, which we take very seriously. We have spoken to the people concerned and we are continuing to investigate."

The investigation is believed to be in connection with a series of tweets Foster posted on March 22 - the day of the Westminster terrorist attack in London.

On that date he tweeted: "Look Twitter. I'm home now, and I've just told 'Bel I'm in trouble. She says I've got to go in the naughty step. #reallife."

A few weeks later he wrote: "Not closing cos someone will nick my name. But I'm off Twitter. I'm still on Facebook."

Since our story earlier this morning, Foster has taken to Twitter to respond to the claims in a series of tweets.

He wrote: "Genuinely bemused at Star article. I sad (sic) I haven't been sacked, because I haven't. I said I'm working hard on @WentworthLive cos I am.

"I wasn't at a signing session, I wasn't born in Sheffield and I don't live in Barnsley. I wasn't "nervous". The fact that I ruffled my hair and fidgeted with my shirt, is something I do. I take tablets for it. Thanks for sharing."

We have also asked the presenter for a comment via Twitter.

The presenter has not been on air since the end of March and has previously been in hot water with BBC bosses after being suspended for six weeks in 2013 after calling his boss a "c***" on a tweet.

In a video posted on his Facebook page on Sunday, entitled "I'm back" the 47-year-old is seen being confronted by an unseen woman at an event in Elsecar.

In the 20 minute clip, the woman can be heard asking Foster why he isn't on the radio.

He replies: "I'm on holiday" before the woman asks him if he has been sacked.

He then adds: "Have I got sacked? No. Why would you think that?"

The listener tells him "because you're not there anymore" and when she asks him if he will be coming back, the host replies: "Yeah of course, I'm just on holiday."

After the exchange, Foster appears flustered, appearing to wipe sweat from his brow, ruffling his hair and nervously fiddling with his shirt as he looks into the camera filming the Facebook Live stream.

"The pitfalls of live broadcasting," he says. "Why do people find that more easy to believe than the fact I'm on holiday?"

Answering questions coming in from other listeners, when one asks him if he will be "back Monday," he replies. "Don't know what you mean."

In a further response to our original story, asking for a comment, he tweeted: "What's to respond to? Lady asks question, I answered."

The video also appears to have been deleted from the page this morning.

Foster, who starred alongside Peter Kay in smash hit comedy Phoenix Nights, then tells viewers that his absence from the airwaves is due to him taking time off to organise the Wentworth Live music festival which is due to take place next month and will feature the likes of Tony Christie, Heaven 17, T'Pau and Lemar.

He adds: "I am away. Been working really hard. You've no idea how hard it is to organise a music festival."

The event will take place at Wentworth Woodhouse on May 28.

In 2013, Foster was suspended by Radio Sheffield after claiming he had been sacked - and then called his boss a "c***" on social media.

He returned to air six weeks later after making an apology.

He said in January 2014: “Just before Christmas you’ll know I made some comments on social media which were totally unfounded and one in particular was offensive.

“I’ve apologised to everyone here at BBC Radio Sheffield and between us we’re looking forward to moving on and bringing you the best breakfast show we can."

Fans of the award-winning radio favourite, who joined the station in 2002, set up an online ‘Save Our Toby’ campaign calling for his reinstatement.

Listeners have also been enquiring of the presenter's current whereabouts on his Facebook page.

‎Michael Davis‎ wrote: "Toby what's happened to breakfast show ?" while Donna Brewster added: "Where's Toby in a morning? Not been on air for the 4th week this week."

Sylvia Barker‎ wrote: "Breakfast not the same without your show. Miss the laughter. Hope things get sorted. Good luck."

The Sheffield-born presenter, who lives in Barnsley, is also a stand up comedian, who promotes and comperes at Sheffield's Last Laugh comedy club. He is also a former member of city ukulele comedy band, the Everly Pregnant Brothers.