Chris Evans asked his listeners not to “shed too many tears” as he fronted his final breakfast show on Radio 2.
Making his last appearance before he moves to Virgin next year, he said: “It is sad. It’s a sad day today. But it is also an exciting day for everyone. You’ve got to turn the pages sometimes. If you wait for other people to turn them it might never happen, you know what I am saying?”
Replying to emails and text messages, Evans asked fans: “Please don’t shed too many tears during our final morning.”
He added: “This is your show. It’s a two-way street today. Truly, definitively. It is your input.”
In that vein he dedicated the final part of the show to requests from listeners, one of whom was Nicole Kidman who was speaking from an Australian beach and requested the Chuck Berry classic Run Rudolph Run to be played.
“Let’s have some fun now,” said Evans as listeners continued to call, make requests and say goodbye.
However he didn’t live up to his own dictum when he seemed to choke up while thanking his family for their support at the top of the show after playing Amazing Grace.
“Most of all I would like to thank my wife Natasha. My gravity, my compass, my guiding light. I crave the uncertainty but you can only do that against a backdrop of certainty.”
He explained he “wanted to get that over with” so he could end the show on laughter.
The final song he played was The Beatles’ All You Need is Love before adding “I think all you need is an Archbishop” as the Bishop of York John Sentamu delivered a homily on Christmas.
Evans announced in September he was quitting Radio 2, refuting suggestions that money had been a factor in his decision
He told listeners at the time: “Some of us are mountain climbers and, if you get to the top of your favourite mountain, you become a mountain observer, so I’ve got to keep climbing.
“I’m going to go and go again and I’m going to start up on a brand-new adventure.”
His Virgin Radio breakfast show will begin on 21st January. He is being replaced as Radio 2 breakfast host by Zoe Ball who also listened in to his goodbye:
Wow Chris Evans that was a very special speech. Congrats young chap. Thank you for the radio joy. Merry Christmas to you Tash and the monkeys ???????????????????????? @BBCRadio2
— Zoe Ball (@ZoeTheBall) December 24, 2018