TV Cream

Radio 1: The Jocks

EVANS, Chris

"I don't want you bringing your bad attitude in here!"INITIALLY AFFABLE inventive bloke in oddly-named Sunday lunchtime slot Too Much Gravy, revolving around such offbeat gambits as Mind The Gap, basically phoning an unsuspecting celebrity during a brief bit of silence in a pop record. Then he had a couple of big TV hits, and was duly repositioned as a Britpop-toting ‘Zoo Radio’ Breakfast host intended to increase Radio 1’s listenership tenfold. It worked for a bit, but then he got obnoxious, then arrogant (especially about his friendship with the Brothers Gallagher and the incredible feat of being more popular than a local radio DJ in a remote part of Scotland), then unlistenably vitriolic about individual Radio 1 ‘suits’, and finally tired and emotional before sidling out through the back door to concentrate on TFI Friday.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Scary

    August 23, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Too Much Gravy was essentially just the best bits of his GLR Saturday/Sunday morning show (Round at Chris’s) re-hashed. However because there was no studio ‘audience’ it didn’t have the atmosphere or the spontaneity… and of course for the GLR listeners we’d heard it all before.

    Incidently his sidekicks on Round at Chris’s were now Jonathan Ross producer Andy Davies and Evan’s then wife no Loose Woman Carol Mcgiffin… who would quite often be absent because they’d ‘had a domestic’

  2. Matthew Rudd

    January 13, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Read. His. Book.

  3. johnny Foreigner

    April 7, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Did you Matthew? I.never.got.round.to.it

  4. Matty

    May 21, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Chris Evans had one of the few genuinely interesting stories of British popular culture in the 1990s. From bright, brilliant young star of TV and radio to arrogant, unlikeable, presumptuous booze-head within the space of a few years. It’s nice that it all ended well with his return to radio a few years ago and, with it, much of his old form without the old problems.

  5. Anthony

    May 12, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    His downfall from grace out of Radio 1 was entirely his own making;to say things about your employer on the air that’s sin number one, then to go on with tasteless slurs, offensive jokes and taking pops at Bannister and Dann that’s sin number two, and to upset people in your job and leave them in floods of tears as he did do, that is the icing on the cake. He alienated too many people and he swore before he left.

  6. Glenn A

    July 23, 2017 at 11:19 am

    He was a boring, laddish berk in an era when boring laddishness was fashionable. Thank goodness for Hughie Mullins and CFM to provide an alternative in 1996. Also on Radio 2 Evans is his same namedropping self and talks at listeners rather than to them and seems to think he’s hosting a sports show as he’s forever droning on about whatever sporting borefest is on at the weekend. Sorry, Evans, play the bloody music and shut up.

  7. Droogie

    January 16, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Anyone remember Evan’s disastrous mid Noughties comeback TV show OFI Sunday? A truly bizarre car crash of a programme – like a low energy TFI but with added self indulgence, like Evans interviewing ex-wife Billie Piper. One TV critic (possibly Charlie Brooker) brilliantly described it as a depressing experience – like watching a man revisit the gravestone of his dead wife each week.

  8. Sidney Balmoral James

    January 17, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    A prime example of the strange media phenomenon of someone watched (or listened to) by millions whose personality is quite alienating, if not completely obnoxious – see also Piers Morgan, Jeremy Clarkson, Janet Street-Porter etc. Is this the modern version of the ‘Man You Love to Hate’ types from years back, like Gilbert Harding, or Bernard Levin (once famously punched on air)?

  9. Glenn Aylett

    January 17, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    Evans reminded me of Simon Dee, another arrogant young man who had a meteoric rise to fame in the sixties and then crashed and burned after a few years and ended up dying in obscurity. However, Evans was a bit more savvy than Dee and had friends outside the BBC who could find him another job and Brand Evans was big without Radio 1. He did have a few years in the wilderness after being sacked from Virgin Radio, but gradually reinvented himself on Radio 2 and became even bigger again when he replaced Wogan.

  10. Sidney Balmoral James

    January 17, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    I’ve not seen much of Simon Dee’s work from 60s – there’s probably not much that has survived – but he always comes across as pretty feeble by modern standards, although he was bigger than King Kong’s underpants back in the day. Shot himself in the foot – if not the head – by leaving the BBC in some acrimony for more money on LWT then behaving like a complete arsehole there as well, leaving him with no where else to go. Not sure how much his career was harmed by his interview with George Lazenby (who career-wise, has a lot in common with Simon Dee!) in which he apparently made various wild accusations about who killed JFK, when he was supposed to be plugging OHMSS. Would make a great BBC drama – given they’ve done Hughie Greene, Fanny Craddock, Steptoe and Son etc. There’s quite a lot on Dee (and Lazenby) in Craig Brown’s book One on One.

  11. Richardpd

    January 17, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    The recent revival of TFI Friday was well timed to cash in on some 1990s nostalgia & sensibly it was only a few shows rather than a full series.

    I’m too young to remember Simon Dee, but I heard that some of his problems at LWT was due to him falling out with David Frost, who had another chat show made by LWT as well as doing a lot behind the scenes.

  12. Droogie

    January 18, 2021 at 2:47 am

    Channel 4 had a sort-of Simon Dee evening in 2003 produced by Victor Lewis Smith , with a documentary on Dee that was followed by a one-off new edition of his chat show Dee Time. The chat show was as horrible as you’d expect with Dee interviewing 3rd rate guests like Cleo Rocos and Gerry Sadowitz , with Dee being rusty as hell and out of his depth after such a long TV absence. But the documentary was excellent. It’s difficult not to feel sorry for Dee’s downfall ( he ended up sleeping on a park bench at one point), but he obviously had a self-destructive streak. He had the chance of a comeback in the early 80’s when BBC Radio 2 made him presenter of Sounds Of The 60’s, but got sacked when he refused to travel miles to interview Gary Glitter at some ungodly hour in the morning. The documentary also showed he was not without talent, and had a contemporary easy going style that made someone like David Frost look like a fuddy duddy in comparison.

    • Richardpd

      January 19, 2021 at 10:24 pm

      I read that Simon Dee went to prison for a time in the 1970s for not paying his taxes.

      • Droogie

        January 20, 2021 at 9:13 am

        He also got fined for vandalising the window display of a shop that was selling toilet seats with pictures of celebrities on them. ( Dee was especially outraged at one with Petula Clark on!) Bizarrely, the magistrate who fined him was Bill Cotton who originally sacked him from the BBC.

        • Sidney Balmoral James

          January 20, 2021 at 7:49 pm

          Was this some sort of satirical one off, or was there a profitable industry in toilet seats with middle-ranking celebrities faces on them? Do any of these seats survive? Who else might they have had in the mid-70s? My guess: Patrick Cargill, Diana Dors, David Bedford.

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