Chris Evans gets that Friday feeling as he waves goodbye to BBC

Click to follow
The Independent Online
The BBC and its most unpredictable presenter decided to part company yesterday. Chris Evans the millionaire, anarchic broadcaster who helped to revitalise the fortunes of Radio 1 in his two years with the station, has handed in his notice.

Evans had told Radio 1's controller, Matthew Bannister, he wanted every Friday off, an unprecedented demand by a presenter of the all-important breakfast show. Mr Bannister told Evans that it did not fit in with his plans and Evans will leave at the end of March.

Evans, a former presenter of Channel 4's The Big Breakfast, hosts a current Channel 4 cult hit TFI Friday, which explains his need to devote Fridays to television work. He also runs his own production company.

Behind the end of Evans's relationship with Radio 1 lies more than a demand for time off. As with Kenny Everett a quarter of a century ago, Radio 1 hired an inventive and anarchic broadcaster to boost its ratings with young listeners, and then found it, too, became a target of on-air satire.

When Evans joined Radio 1, it was in the doldrums. It paid his company Ginger Productions pounds 1.4m to produce the breakfast show. He drew an extra 600,000 listeners, attracting more than 7 million, but his techniques made his bosses nervous.

More than 30 complaints about Evans were upheld by broadcasting watchdogs during his time on the breakfast show. Mr Bannister said last night: "Chris is an enormously talented broadcaster who has made a tremendous contribution to the network."

Comments