Chris Evans pulls out of Radio 2 breakfast show moments before going on air after his mother passes away

In a message to listeners, Evans paid touching tribute to his 92-year-old mother: "Ultimately there was no battle lost, only a life won"

Chris Evans (BBC, EH)

BBC Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans had to pull out of his breakfast show on Thursday morning moments before he was due to go on air, after his mother died aged 92.

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Evans’ colleague Vassos Alexander, the show’s sports reporter, stepped in to cover for him at the last minute, and read out a message from Evans for his listeners.

Alexander said: “Chris isn’t here, this is Vassos. Chris has been here, in fact, but he had to go just before we came on air. And he’s left me a little note to read out to you. Bear with me, this is a little bit difficult for me because we’re talking about one of my best friends here.”

Reading the note, he said: “Good morning everyone, says Chris. The reason I’m not with you today is because just before we came on air my mum passed away, and I needed to go straight back home to be with the family. But it’s all OK; in fact it’s very OK. Mum needed to be at peace.

“Moreover, she deserved to be at peace. We’d been ready for this for some time now, and as she has throughout her life, in death she has brought us together. She was an incredible woman.

“Anyone who has ever met her will tell you that, and ultimately there was no battle lost, only a life won. Every single day. I’ll be back tomorrow.

“If mum had the first idea I might not have shown up today because of her she would have been furious. I hope you all have a lovely Thursday. See you tomorrow.”

Ken Bruce came on the airwaves early to take over from Alexander.

Lots of listeners have tweeted their condolences to Evans, admitting that his note had them in tears, while Radio 2 dedicated the show to the broadcaster and his family.

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Chris Evans will be back on BBC Radio 2 at 6.30am on Friday 4th May