JOE’s 90s Heroes: Chris Evans, the ginger juggernaut of TV and radio 6 years ago

JOE’s 90s Heroes: Chris Evans, the ginger juggernaut of TV and radio

It's a good time to be Chris Evans.

The last couple of weeks have seen the 49-year-old named as the new host of his favourite show, Top Gear, and given a new eight-part series of his most famous telly-box vehicle, TFI Friday.


Neither is much of a surprise when you think about it. Few presenters can boast Evans' on-screen charisma with a natural command of his studio surroundings. He loves cars, loves his job and viewers seem to love him.

This purple patch is the most recent stage of the steady re-emergence of Chris Evans the media personality. After a stab at being a production mogul, he's back doing what he does best - communicating directly with the viewer.

The nineties are of course when Evans made his name - and ultimately besmirched it by disappearing up his own arse. But that's what you get for giving free rein to a creative maverick with an out-of-control ego.


We can expand at length on Evans various and highly-publicised failures, but if his recent success proves anything, it's that behind the hype and headlines there is and always has been a unique talent.

The Big Breakfast, Radio 1 Breakfast Show, Don't Forget Your Toothbrush, TFI Friday - each was an anarchic, unpredictable and engaging experience. They were shows even people who loathed Evans would tune into for fear of missing out.

Part of what people loved about Evans back then is also the reason he annoyed the sh*t out of so many. There was a sense he was just there to enjoy himself - and those around him were dicking about for his personal pleasure.


You'd often get what seemed like colleagues and crew laughing in disproportionate hysteria at anything. Perhaps that's where it led in time, but for the most part it was fun to see and hear people f*cking about and having a blast.

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There was more to it than that of course. Evans was and is a bundle of energy and ideas. His formats were innovative and fresh, and as a host he managed to entertain and control both the studio throng and the audience at home.

In the end he suffered from a lack of constraint. He was both the talent and the ultimate boss, with his Ginger Productions creating the content he starred in. Evans is the first to admit that it turned him into a bit of w*nker.


But it is what it is. Evans has come out of it a more likeable personality. He still has a brain full of ideas and the same boundless enthusiasm, but seems warmer and more focused on his guests rather than himself.

He may be a quintessential icon of the nineties, but less than a year away from his 50th birthday (on April 1st of course), Evans is as relevant as ever.