The Chris Evans Breakfast Show
|Running time||Weekdays 6.30am-9.30am|
|Home station||BBC Radio 2|
|Recording studio||Western House, London|
|Air dates||since 11 January 2010|
|Audio format||FM and Digital radio|
|Podcast||The Best Bits|
The Chris Evans Breakfast Show is the flagship show for the UK's BBC Radio 2. It has been presented by Chris Evans from 11 January 2010, when Evans took over from Sir Terry Wogan who ended his stint as Breakfast presenter at the end of 2009.
On 6 January 2010, it was announced that Moira Stuart would return to BBC News, reading the news for the Chris Evans Breakfast Show. The original sports presenter Jonny Saunders was replaced by Vassos Alexander on 25 July 2011.
Saunders was mysteriously absent from the show between 14 and 16 June 2011 and it was revealed on 17 June that he had been away revising for and taking an Open University exam in English Literature as he was leaving the show on 8 July 2011 to become a teacher.
Chris's team of co-presenters on the show includes ex-BBC TV newsreader Moira Stuart (currently on hiatus, Justine Green is her stand-in as of June 2016), sports presenter Vassos Alexander and travel reporter Lynn Bowles. There are also sometimes roving reports from Joe Schmo (aka Joe Haddow) from various locations in the UK.
Features on the show include:
- Introduction - Chris introduces the team over the theme from Joe 90.
- Good Morning Chris Club - at 6:45am listeners email in with a reason to be in Chris's "club" and if he thinks they should go in, he honks a horn. Background music is the theme from Thunderbirds.
- Big Screen Belter - a track featured in a movie at 6.40am.
- On This Day; - a run-down of significant events from history that occurred on that day read by a celebrity at 7.15am. Background music is the theme from Dallas.
- Kids Get a Fanfare - a child gets to tell the nation about something that they're going to do for the first time that day before coming back on the show the following day to talk about how it went (7.25am).
- Moira's Golden Oldie — Moira Stuart reads out the request for a classic song selected by a listener after the news at 7.30am.
- Frontpages - Chris reads a selection of stories in the morning papers to the theme from Indiana Jones at 7.40am. Whenever Mark Goodier fills in for Chris, he parodies fellow Radio 2 show Pick of the Pops as Pick of the Papers, with the theme to the show replacing the Indiana Jones theme.
- Listener Breaking News — listeners contact the show with pieces of their own news; Evans reads a selection at 8.10am. Usually this is done over the theme music from The Champions, but during the summer this is temporarily replaced by an instrumental version of "Summer Holiday" by Cliff Richard and The Shadows. Previously the theme to The Adventures of Black Beauty, and prior to that the theme from Jurassic Park were used.
- Who's on the Phone? — Most weekdays at around 8.15am, a celebrity is interviewed on the phone to plug a TV show or film that is either on TV during that week or out in cinemas.
- Smashers - a classic song from a selected decade is played every day after the news at 8.30am. On Monday, this is from the 1960s. Tuesday is 1970s, Wednesday is 1980s and Thursday is 1990s.
- Mystery Guest/Not So Mystery Guest - Chris conducts a three-minute "interesting, stimulating, and if it calls for it humorous" interview with a guest he has had no prior warning about, to the theme music from Agatha Christie's Poirot. Since around 2015, the team have now known about who will be talking, and the segment name changed to make the Mystery Guest a Not So Mystery Guest.
- Gobsmackers — two songs selected by a listener that sound great when played back to back after the news at 9.00am.
- Top Tenuous — listeners' texts and emails with tenuous connections to an event, object or celebrity read to the theme tune to Police Squad! at about 9.10am.
- Pause for Thought - a brief reflection with themes of spirituality, religion, giving and faith (mostly of Christianity, but Muslim and Jewish contributors also feature); regular contributors include Reverend Rob Gillion, Rector of Holy Trinity Church and St Saviours who was, at one time, an actor in Tales of the Unexpected, and Muslim editor Sarah Joseph OBE. Other contributors have included the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York.
- Good Old Fashioned - Listeners text in "good old-fashioned" greetings for friends and family. These are usually "good old-fashioned" hellos, happy Birthdays, or happy Anniversaries, read by Chris, Vassos and Lynn to Laurie Johnson's "Las Vegas" (better known as the theme tune from Animal Magic).
Whenever Chris is not presenting, a segment called The Half Wower, featuring non-stop music with a feel-good theme, runs from 8:00 to 8:30am. Whenever Sara Cox fills in for Chris, she uses Wow by Kylie Minogue as the theme song; however Mark Goodier does not use a set theme when he fills in.
Regular songs included "Sunchyme" by Dario G, played every Monday and "Talk to the Animals" by Sammy Davis, Jr. (replacing "The Candy Man", also by Davis), played every Friday after the 8:00 news throughout 2014. Both songs were replaced for 2015 with The Deadwood Stage from the film Calamity Jane played on a Monday and Bring Me Sunshine played on a Friday. How Do You Like Your Eggs In the Morning as sung by Dean Martin and Helen O'Connell, part of which is used in the regular jingle following the 8:00 news, is almost always played in full every Tuesday. On the other days, only the introduction and first line of the song are played, after which Chris uses a recording of a child uttering the second line thus: "I like mine with a kiss-uh, kiss-uh!" Sometimes, a re-written version of Wake Up Boo! by The Boo Radleys plays as a jingle.
Former features have included:
- The Wrong Bongs — A short-lived feature where Lynn would read out a selection of listener texts that have been sent in correcting the team on facts that were wrong in the previous day's show. After each text, Chris would play a clip of one of the "bongs" from Big Ben.
- Head to Headlines — Vassos and Moira each choose three news stories each day, and Evans decides which of the stories is better in three head-to-head rounds per day (~8.25am read to "Soul Bossa Nova" by Quincy Jones).
- Don't Forget - listeners email in a reminder for the day for a friend or relative to be read just before 9.30am to the theme tune from Please Sir. Replaced by the "Good Old Fashioned"s in 2015.
- Hello/Goodbye - listeners would phone up and greet Chris and the team with a 'Hello', only to be met with a 'Goodbye' in whatever tone of voice had been used by the listener, just before 9.30am. Replaced by the "Don't Forget"s in 2012.
Evans' stand-in presenters have included Graham Norton, Richard Allinson, Miranda Hart and Jon Holmes, Richard Madeley, Zoë Ball, Ryan Tubridy, Patrick Kielty, Sara Cox, and most recently Mark Goodier.
In October 2011 the show attracted criticism after Hart and Holmes co-hosted it for a week while Chris Evans was on holiday. The website Digital Spy reported that some listeners were unhappy with the quality of the programme. The BBC issued a statement in response saying, "Miranda Hart is one of the UK's best-loved comedians and BBC Radio 2 felt it appropriate to bring her warmth to its audience for a week. Jon Holmes is a highly experienced presenter from BBC Radio 6 Music [...] BBC Radio 2 appreciates if their presentation wasn't to everyone's liking, but feels it's important to be able to bring new talent to its output and hopes its audience understands the importance of maintaining a breadth of content on the network."
On 11 April 2013, Evans had turned up to work with a sore throat, and ended up losing his voice. Sports Presenter Alexander stood in for Evans. Zoë Ball stood in for Evans the next day and the following Monday, with Richard Allinson taking over on the Tuesday when Ball was also ill. Evans returned on 17 April, revealing he had been suffering from rhinitis.
- "BBC extends Chris Evans breakfast show", Digital Spy, 4 October 2010.
- "Sir Terry to leave breakfast show". BBC News. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
- Macadam, Daniel (6 January 2010). "Moira Stuart returns to read news on Chris Evans show". Press Gazette. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
- "Pause for Thought". BBC. 21 January 2013 @accessdate=22 January 2013. Check date values in:
- Daniels, Colin (8 October 2011). "BBC responds to Miranda Hart complaint". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 October 2011.