Chris Evans has dismissed claims that his upcoming television commitments will mean he doesn’t have time to focus on his Radio 2 breakfast show.
Speaking at this year’s Radio Festival at the British Library in London, Chris also said it isn’t his role to be controversial on the air. “I’ve fallen back in love with life and how wonderful it is,” he told delegates in a Q&A with Radio 4’s Paddy O’Connell. “I would love to be more spiky, more edgy sometimes. But that’s not my job. I’m not flying a spitfire, I’m flying an Airbus A380 and we can’t do loop the loops.”
Asked about his increased workload, which sees him combining his daily Radio 2 show with presenting a final series of TFI Friday on Channel 4 and taking over as the main host of Top Gear on BBC2.
“I think you always find the time to do what you want to do and what you need to do,” said Chris “I’m busier now than I’ve ever been but I’ve never had more time because I’m more organised. I used to think you had to live the life to have the life but now I’ve realised you can compartmentalise it.”
Evans said he was up at 2am this morning to write the final chapter of his next book, then worked on a script for TFI Friday before switching his attention to the Radio 2 breakfast show at 5am.
“The first TFI Friday show is written and the second is written,” he said. “One of the problems with going crazy in this business is when there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. But because we’ve got a finite number of TFI Fridays we can see the end. Top Gear isn’t on till May and a lot of it is pre-filmed. No matter what I’m doing I always think ‘can you imagine having to make a James Bond film’. You’ve just got to get on with it.”
On Radio 2, Chris said “I love it more now that I ever have.” A question from session host Paddy O’Connell raised the biggest laugh: “When you got record listening figures, Terry Wogan left you a voicemail congratulating you. Will Jeremy Clarkson do the same if Top Gear is a success?” Chris said he’d be criticised however he answered. “That’s a far better question than any answer I could possibly come up with,” said Chris. “Let’s just leave it at the question.”
Chris Evans also said he hasn’t heard Chris Moyles’ new Radio X breakfast show, nor is he a listener to Christian O’Connell on Absolute Radio. “I’m on the air at the same time,” he said. “How am I supposed to listen?” Paddy pointed out that Steve Wright records shows in competition with his to listen back to. “Why would you do that?” replied Chris.
And finally his advice for getting into radio and succeeding: “You’ve got to love it and want to do it and be positive all the time. You’ve not got to worry about the deal now if it stops you from getting the big deal. And you’ve got to get next to the heat, next to the good people.”
Listen to Chris talking to RadioToday’s Stuart Clarkson after he came off stage at the Radio Festival 2015: