Shocked Thorne, 63, was dumped after more than 30 years with the broadcaster. Yesterday fellow stars hit out as snooker fans called for a boycott of BBC coverage of the sport, branding the decision “a disgrace”.
Willie, a former Strictly Come Dancing star, said he was now facing a bleak festive season.
He had been preparing to commentate at next month’s UK Championships in York and next year’s world event in Sheffield.
Thorne, who has been battling cancer, said: “I was told by the BBC that they wanted to change tack… I’m almost speechless. It was income I expected for Christmas.”
Fellow BBC commentator and seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry branded the move a “bad decision”.
Hendry, 48, wrote on Twitter: “Gutted my friend Willie will not be at York and Sheffield.” Snooker fan Alastair Rutherford said: “We will get you back on our screens soon Willie! BBC needs boycotting! Total disgrace!”
Keith Knight wrote: “You are the Peter Alliss of snooker. Another baffling decision by those employed via the TV licence.”
Overwhelmed Thorne wrote on Twitter: “Thank you for all the kind messages. Appreciate that you thought I was OK at my job. Loved every minute.”
Thorne, from Leicester, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015. He had previously made a suicide attempt after racking up gambling debts of £1million and becoming bankrupt.
Last night a BBC spokesman said: “This is an editorial decision. Willie has done a great job and we wish him well in the future.”