Chris Evans – 10 Things You Never Knew about the new Top Gear Presenter

Chris Evans, Top Gear
If you came here expecting to see Captain America and are thinking, boy has he changed, then my apologies. This post is about the other Chris Evans, the British broadcaster and entertainer who will be replacing the Jeremy Clarkson as the presenter of the motoring show Top gear.

It came as no great surprise when I read in the Huffington Post that Chris Evans’ ego was getting the better of him since he signed up to present a revamped Top Gear. After all, he’s never exactly been the shy and retiring type has he? 

It seems that Chris Evans may be deliberately putting obstacles in the way of recruiting his co-presenters for Top gear, and that should come as no surprise either, because, if you think back to any of Chris Even’s shows, TV or radio, they have all really been just that; ‘The Chris Evans Show’.

I actually have enjoyed Chris Evans’ past work, so this isn’t by any means an anti-Evans, rant. Perhaps Top Gear fans should stop expecting to see a revamped Top gear, complete with clones of Clarkson, May, and Hammond, and start looking forward to a completely different kind of show. After all, at least we won’t have to pay a subscription to watch it!

So, while we ponder over which version of ‘Top Gear’ we will be watching next year, here are ten things that you may not have known about the new presenter of the BBC’s Top Gear, Chris Evans.

1. He was a millionaire at the age of 33
Chris Evans has been highly successful with his various TV and radio enterprises. His TV production company, Ginger Productions, produced Evan’s TV shows ‘TFI Friday’ and ‘Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush’ and Evans bought Virgin Radio from Richard Branson and later sold the whole group in 2000, netting himself a tidy £75 million.

2. His ego and his workload have got the better of him before
Reports that he has bitten off more than he can chew with Top Gear could be a case of history repeating itself. He is currently working on the Radio 2 Breakfast show, the new Top Gear and A reboot of TFI Friday. In the late 1990s, Chris Evans left his Radio One breakfast show after a series of bust ups with the management and a demand that he not have to present the Friday Morning breakfast show, so that he could spend more time working on TFI Friday.

Chris Evans, Billie Piper, Top Gear
Billie Piper
 Image source: By Jannie's, via Wikimedia Commons
3. He married Billie Piper when she was just 18
When Evans was 33 years old, he married the then teenage pop star Billie Piper. Many people said at the time the marriage was little more than a publicity stunt to further both of their careers, but the marriage did last for four years and they are said to be still good friends.

4. He took his Radio 1 Breakfast Show crew on a 17 hour bender
He never did really take his Radio 1 Breakfast show responsibilities that seriously, but it was his rule-breaking that made the show great. On one occasion, he took the entire crew of the show on a 17 hour pub crawl and they didn’t get back until just two hours before the show was due to be aired. That was just one of the events that eventually lead to his departure from the Radio 1 breakfast slot.

5. He was fired from Virgin Radio
If the BBC thinks that they have put Top gear in a safe pair of hands, they really haven’t done their homework on Chris Evans. After not turning up for work on numerous occasions, due again to all night benders, Evans was fired from his job as presenter of Virgin Radio’s breakfast show on 28th June 2001. Evans sued Virgin media for unfair dismissal, lost the case, and ended up paying £1m in legal costs to Virgin.

Chris Evans, Top Gear, Ferrari, Classic Cars
Chris Evans in Classic Ferrari
Image source: By Supermac1961 from CHAFFORD HUNDRED, 
England, via Wikimedia Commons
6. He has his own collection of classic cars
Chris Evans certainly has the credentials to present Top Gear. He has spent millions of pounds on his collection of classic cars and he spent £13 million one vintage Ferrari 250 GT that was, at the time, the most expensive car ever sold in the UK. He also owns his own helicopter and a number of pubs.

7. Not everything that Chris Evans touches turns to gold
In 2005, Chris Evans tried to return to TV with a new show called ‘OFI Sunday’, which had a similar format to ‘TFI Friday’, but was aired on Sunday Mornings. The show was slated for being self-indulgent and, although 5 million viewers tuned in for the debut, by the end of the 45 minute show, only 2.5 million were left watching. The show was axed after only 6 episodes.

8. He made a touching tribute the day after the Dunblane Massacre
The day after the Dunblane tragedy, when sixteen school children and a teacher were shot dead in Scottish school, Chris Evans completely changed the tone of his breakfast radio show as a mark of respect. The playlist was changed to sombre, appropriate music and there was none of the usual larking around and joking. Believe it or not, some listeners still phoned in to complain about the lack of jokes.

Chris Evans, Top Gear, The STig
Chris Evans and The Stig 
Image source: 
9. He said that he would not present Top Gear
In the aftermath of Jeremy Clarkson’s suspension for Top gear, Chris Evans vehemently denied that he would take over as the presenter of Top Gear. Evans is a good friend of all three of the original ores enters and he wouldn’t say yes to the job until May and Hammond had confirmed that they too were leaving the show.

10. He has the blessings of the old Top Gear Team
Whether you are pro or anti Chris Evans taking over as presenter of Top gear, he does appear to have the blessings of the old team. Clarkson, May, and Hammond, are all said to have congratulated him on getting the role.

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