Chris Evans is leaving Radio 2 to rejoin Virgin Radio, he has confirmed.
On Monday morning, Chris announced that he was stepping down from the Breakfast Show at the end of this year, 13 years after hosting his first show on the station.
Addressing the fact his wife Natasha is currently expecting twins, he commented: “The twins are on their way... I’m going to leave Radio 2.
“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.”
He later said, in an official statement: “I have absolutely loved every single moment of my time at Radio 2.
“The last 13 years have flashed by in what seems like the blink of an eye. I have learnt so much from so many people to whom I will be eternally grateful.”
In a nod to his breakfast show predecessor, Chris noted: “As Sir Terry said before me, there’s never a right time to leave something you love but there might be a wrong time if you hang on too long.
“I honestly think The Breakfast Show is currently as positive, useful, sunny and inclusive as it has ever been. In fine shape for its next custodian. Whoever that turns out to be, I wish them all the very best, they are in for an absolute blast.”
It was later confirmed that he’d be rejoining Virgin Radio, where he will be fronting their morning show from January onwards, describing the station as his “spiritual home”.
He said: “I see nothing but exciting and groundbreaking opportunities ahead. In a medium that is changing so quickly on a daily basis, the potential for growth is unprecedented.
“Our plan is: to give it all we’ve got, see where we can get to and have the most possible fun along the way. It makes me smile every time I think about it.”
Chris first joined Radio 2 in 2005, hosting a show on Saturday afternoons, before becoming the station’s regular drive-time host.
From there, the presenter made the jump to the Breakfast Show, which he has made a huge success of, pulling in as many as 9.91 million listeners.
His final show on the station will air in December 2018.
Tony Hall, the director general of the BBC, said of the news: “Chris has been an absolutely first-class presenter of the Breakfast Show.
“He has brought both warmth and a genuine insight into what listeners want.
“He has given 100% to each of his BBC projects, including raising millions of pounds for Children In Need. I’d like to thank him for all his efforts over the years and wish him all the best for the future.”
The news of Chris’s departure comes shortly after his long-time Radio 1 counterpart Nick Grimshaw announced that he was stepping down as the host of that station’s Breakfast Show.
After six years of early mornings, Grimmy has now done a job swap with fellow Radio 1 star Greg James, and is now the channel’s drive-time host.
Meanwhile, Greg hosted his first Breakfast Show last month, and got the thumbs up from his listeners.