Born 1966 in Warrington, Chris Evans' former
running his local newsagents, his own Kiss-o-gram and Private Detective
He started his
broadcasting career at Piccadilly Radio, and later GLR with
his Saturday show Round at Chris Evans.
From April 1992, Chris was first heard on Radio
1 presenting Too Much Gravy; a fun Sunday afternoon show slotted just
before the Top 40 show, which ran for six months until September.
when Chris became host of
The Big Breakfast, Channel 4's new early morning programme,
having built his reputation as a witty prankster on the BBC London radio
station GLR with 'Round at Chris Evans'.
The Big Breakfast was a hit in it's early days, beating
even ITV's new breakfast station, GMTV, when it launched in 1993. Evans's
hyperactive and cheeky personality defined the show catapulting him from
London cult personality to a national celebrity.
Later he launched his own production outfit,
Ginger Productions, responsible for his first prime-time TV show, the
Channel 4 quiz Don't Forget Your Toothbrush. The format was sold
around the world, bringing in funds to help him build up his media empire.
He left the Big Breakfast in 1994, and
1995 was recruited by Radio 1 to present the breakfast show
after Steve Wrights dramatic
Playing Peters & Lee "welcome home"
on his first show,
Chris initially signed an 8-month contract reported to be 1 million pounds.
with a 'zoo' style format included
features such as Ginger Loans, The Hair Bair Bunch (Jamie and Justin), On
The Bog, Charlie Chuckle, Honk Your Horn, forcing Dan to marry Lisa, Stick
Your Tongue In and The Biggest Travel On The Radio. He was often in hot
water with Radio 1 Management for straying from the Radio 1 playlist.
By October 1996 Chris had increased listeners to the show by 1 million to 7m per week,
when he labelled Matthew Bannister on-air as a "Fat Controller".
tenure at Radio 1 was certainly not without controversy; in July 1996 he Made inappropriate comments about Anne Franks diary; Radio 1
"deeply regretted the offence". Chris Evans received 2 warnings for his adult on-air
In a survey conducted in 1996, 52% said
that the presenter was 'too smug and self-interested' whilst 17% said his
Breakfast Show was 'too smutty'.
He played a large part in dramatically changing
the style of Radio 1, which was in the process of being redefined.
Evans was sacked by Radio 1 in January 1997,
after his demands to work a four-day week were refused by
Bannister. He was
replaced by 'Mark & Lard' (Mark Radcliffe
and Marc Riley).
Ironically he left the breakfast show to
present with the same group on rival
His Ginger Media Group went on to purchase Virgin in late 1997 for ?85 Million. Virgin Radio was
later sold to the
Scottish Media Group for ?225 Million in March 2000. Chris Evans was fired
from Virgin in 2001 after failing to turn up 5 days in a row.
Chris Evans tried his hand at TV producing, albeit unsuccessfully.
His shows included Boys and Girls, Live! and the Terry
and Gaby Show.
former pop star Billie Piper,
who in 2003 starred in a
BBC1 drama 'The Miller's Tale'. Sadly they
split late 2003. Billie went on to co-star in the popular Dr. Who
series on BBC TV.
Surprisingly, Chris was heard again on BBC
Radio in 2005, commencing with a Good Friday lunchtime slot on Radio 2.
He presented a similar slot on the following UK Bank Holidays.
Despite much listener
criticism, on April 18th 2006 Chris took over the Radio 2 drivetime slot
from Johnnie Walker. This was his first daily radio show since being sacked
from Virgin Radio in 2001.
Chris and his Radio 1 breakfast crew
relax on the beach drinking.