Chris Evans says talkRADIO is changing to talkNEWS

Chris Evans has told listeners to his Virgin Radio breakfast show that Wireless’ talkRADIO is going to rebrand as talkNEWS – and suggested Nick Ferrari and John Humphrys would be great signings.

Speaking on Friday’s show at around 7.15am, he referred back to a reference to ‘talkNEWS’ on the previous day’s show.

“The reason I called it talkNEWS on the radio yesterday,” he said. “Is because I know something that nobody else knows, and it slipped out. It’s going to be called talkNEWS.”

The chat between Chris and colleague Vassos Alexander then moved onto LBC’s Nick Ferrari.

Chris said: “I don’t know if Nick’s coming to work here or not. But if he wants to meet for a post-breakfast show brunch and if he wants to know how great it is to work here I’m happy to tell him.”

He also referred to an off-air conversation with News UK CEO Rebekah Brooks, saying: “So what happened yesterday is I called talkRADIO talkNEWS and then the boss said ‘That’s a great name, let’s change it to talkNEWS’ – but it’s not because I demanded it or anything. So it’s going to be rebranded talkNEWS.”

Chis also talked about John Humphrys’ comments earlier this week that he plans to leave Radio 4 later this year. “John Humphrys announced he’s leaving the Today Programme – so is he coming here?” said Chris. “Yesterday I said he might be, but I’m only prepared to go that far. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up here. That is the great John Humphrys. And Mr Nick Ferrari. But we’ll see.”

When approached for comment, a News UK spokesperson told RadioToday: “Chris likes to have fun on air – and that’s exactly what it was, Chris having fun on air!”

Listen to the audio from the show here

RadioToday’s take

As we’ve seen from the last few weeks, Chris likes to say things on air that will get him quoted in the press. So is this a deliberate ploy to get RadioToday to write a story about his Virgin breakfast show? If it is, we fell for it – hook line and sinker.

But what he’s saying about the station and talkNEWS doing ‘what it says on the tin’ does all make sense. And as for Nick Ferrari or John Humphrys joining? Well, not that News UK is short of money, but Wireless is about to boost its bank balance by a sizeable amount following the sale of its local radio stations to Bauer. That’s a healthy kitty to spend on talent for its national stations.

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21 Comments
  1. Stuart says

    I bet Iain Lee won’t be happy with that idea. Though if it’s a news talk station now, rather than the broader remit it started with then it’s a logical name

  2. Mark Budgen says

    Even the old pre-bland LBC had ‘fun’ programmes.

  3. Joe Smith says

    Mr Ego strikes again. A couple of weeks into his new job and suggesting replacements for some of his colleagues to keep himself in the news..

    1. neal says

      How true!

      1. Jeff C says

        What do you expect when “Mr Ego” thinks he’s gods gift to broadcasting.

  4. Ron Dobbyn says

    I bet all those visitors from outer space will be upset if Howard Hughes “Outer Limits” is banished from the airwaves, and it would be a great tragedy if Bob Mills wasn’t allowed out of Talk Sport once a week. I expect Philip from South Norwood would have to retire if he didn’t have his Sunday night spot.

    1. Mr Boltar says

      Apparently their Rajar audience has doubled (if you believe Rajar anymore) so I can’t imagine them wanting to change the entire format of the station to go into direct competition to LBC. Which they’d lose.

  5. Mr Boltar says

    I would imagine Global has Nick Ferrari in 24 carot gold handcuffs, I doubt he’ll be going anywhere anytime soon.

  6. Cj says

    Sign James 0’B and give us LBC listeners a break 😁

    1. Bob Sutton says

      Well said, you have my support, except bring him back on Thursday’s only between 12 – 1pm for the mystery hour – which is brilliant.

      I listen to Steve Allen, then Nick but switch over to R2 Pop Master as soon as JO’B starts winging.

  7. JASON TOYPIN says

    TALKNEWS CAN SNAP UP ALL RADIO FVE LIVE CURRET AFIARS -EOPEL AND AKE MANY LISTENERS FRUM TJEM.

  8. Michael Palmer says

    I think Nick Ferrari would be a perfect fit for Talk News.but he’s LBC ‘s jewel in the crown,can’t see Global letting him go.However,if Chris can get £ 2 million a year,I’m sure Nick could be entertained by a similar contract.
    Talk News needs a big scalp if has any ambitions on increasing listenership to 1 million plus.

  9. Simon Marks says

    Interesting to note that the website http://www.talknews.co.uk was registered yesterday by someone.

  10. JASON TOYPIN says

    NICK FARRAI SHOULD CBNSIDER CHANGUNG TI TALKNEWS HOPE JIHN HAMPREYS MAY END UP AT TALKNEWS

  11. JASON TOPPIN says

    BET IF JIHN HUMPRESY AND NUICK AFARRI JOPIN TALKNEWS AS WELL AS THE LBC TEAM AND SOME ANNOUMCERS FROM RADIO FIVE LIVE LOOK HOW MANY NEW LISENERS IN TE UK THAT THE RELAUNCHED TAL;KNEWS WILL GAIN SOEM OF TE CURRENT TALKRADIO TEAM MAY BE REPLACED THE MOEMENT ALKRADIO IS REAMED TA;KNEWS

  12. Steve Hall says

    Same old Chris Evans, nothing original, boring ,

  13. ciaran flavin says

    djs like chris evans and zoe ball and many others should remember they need to announce very clearly the name and artist of every record they play.
    There is far too mucn of not doing this on the radio

  14. Chris Horner says

    I don’t care what the radio station is called as long as James Whale is on there

  15. David Small says

    The website is live now too: http://www.talknews.co.uk

  16. Mark Budgen says

    On talkNEWS The Rupert Murdoch Show. With 3 page 3 lovelies. Every day, all day.

  17. David Whetnall says

    I use to listen to LBC but James O”Brien is a no no for me

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