Unhappy staff outing for Chris Evans plc

First Morning 1: The Chris Evans Breakfast Show, on Sky tv

"RIGHT, WELL," said the man in the anorak, "this show isn't going to change because it's on the TV at all, but I have to say this to you, I'm going to be doing features that are attractive both on TV and Radio".

He gave us an example by impersonating Bruce Forsyth through a megaphone. Harry Enfield's Smashie and Nicey and their tragic props sprang immediately to mind. Then he joshed his work pals, who all agreed with him and assured him of his brilliance. Well, they would do that: he's the boss, after all.

This is The Chris Evans Breakfast show in its new format. While Radio 1 relaunched its own breakfast show yesterday morning, Evans took his Virgin Radio show one step further by taking it to television. Rupert Murdoch's Sky TV, in search of the elusive youth that they have failed to convert, have given Evans a two-year contract to simulcast schoolyard humour and Sky plugs between 7.30am and 8.30am each weekday morning. Whether this is such a hot idea is open to question.

The "youth" style leaders tend to not watch much television because they are busy actually doing things and, translating a show that they generally only tune in to while they are doing something else, like get up, is unlikely to increase either viewers or listeners, even with sponsorship from Marmite. Actually, on the radio side, it might well send them squealing off down the FM dial to Zoe Ball. Being on TV means two things: firstly, that the people in the studio keep saying things like "he looks like this" or "he went like that", which is hardly riveting listening, and secondly that the musical input was reduced to four songs in an hour: U2, Robbie Williams, Aerosmith and the Jam.

Videos appeared on our split-screens, one-third artist and two-thirds scenes of the anorak-wearing dudes in the studio doing the things they usually do when a record is playing: taking off their bins, sitting around, going for walks up a dull grey corridor, then putting their bins back on and going "hur hur".

And Evans himself might just have made a mistake this time; he is not a man whose face should be viewed in repose, which happens a great deal, and that popular school-gang front-of-camera persona kept breaking down during the videos into the monster-boss of legend.

At one point he stood sideways-on to a minion, shoving pieces of paper at him without once bothering to turn his head. Now, this is the Chris Evans everyone should see. If only Sky would give us an hour's live coverage every day of Rupert Murdoch at work.

Serena Mackesy

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