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Chris Evans reveals next destination after BBC exit

Chris Evans

Chris Evans is returning to his “spiritual home” of Virgin Radio after announcing he was leaving the BBC live on his Radio 2 Breakfast Show this morning.

The 52-year-old previously quit the BBC in 1997 to host the breakfast show on the old Virgin Radio, which he also briefly owned. The deal turned sour and ended up in court when he was sacked after failing to turn up to work after going on a drinking binge with ex-wife Billie Piper.

Speaking about his appointment, Evans said: “In many ways Virgin Radio is my spiritual home. I see nothing but exciting and groundbreaking opportunities ahead. In a medium that is changing so quickly on a daily basis, the potential for growth is unprecedented.

“Our plan is: to give it all we’ve got, see where we can get to and have the most possible fun along the way. It makes me smile every time I think about it.”

The digital-only station reaches 413,000 listeners a week, compared with the 15 million who listen to Radio 2. Evans will take over the breakfast show from the new year.

The current version of the station was relaunched in March 2016 and was recently bought by Rupert Murdoch’s News UK group under the leadership of former Sun editor Rebekah Brooks.

Scott Taunton, CEO of Wireless, which owns Virgin Radio, said: “We are beyond thrilled that Chris has chosen to come back to Virgin Radio. He is the biggest name in radio and is synonymous with the brand. He has the most exciting Breakfast Show in the industry and has an energy that captivates audiences.

“This is a transformational moment for Virgin Radio since it relaunched two years ago.  It is the next stage of our radio revolution, giving us a world-class presenter and a nationally recognised breakfast show that will drive audience growth for the station, across DAB, our app and all forms of connected listening.

“Sam (Pinkham) and Amy (Voce) have done a fantastic job building the Virgin Radio Breakfast Show and we look forward to continuing to work with them as part of the Virgin Radio team.”

Announcing the move on-air this morning, Evans had suggested he was leaving for family reasons. “The twins are on their way,” he said, while adding that he was looking for a “new adventure”.

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