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Tuesday, December 9, 1997 Published at 11:20 GMT


Chris Evans takes over at Virgin Radio
image: [ Chris Evans: from the studio to the boardroom ]
Chris Evans: from the studio to the boardroom

A smiling Chris Evans walked into work at Virgin Radio in London on Tuesday morning with more than his breakfast show on his mind - having bought a controlling stake in the station.

"It's great to be boss. It's brilliant," he said. "It's a very good day."

The DJ invested _2m plus his stake in his Ginger Productions Company, valued at _30m.

The rest of the money came from investment group Apax Partners and French bankers Paribas.

The former BBC Radio 1 breakfast show presenter, along with his Ginger partners and Mr Revell, will own 55% of the station and Apax will take a 20% stake.

The decision by Virgin's boss, Richard Branson, to sell to the DJ scuppered a bid by Capital Radio, which had been held up by a Monopolies and Mergers Commission inquiry.

Capital Radio is already Britain's largest radio group, with a string of stations around the country as well as two London licences.

The MMC report was originally due in 10 days' time but was put back until the New Year, when it still would have needed consideration by the Department of Trade and Industry.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange, Capital Radio's Group Chief Executive, David Mansfield, said: "Clearly we are surprised and disappointed by this decision."

Difficult keeping mum

Chris Evans laughed and joked his way through his three-hour morning show.

Referring to Richard Branson, he said: "God is Sir Dickie and I'm his son."

Thanking lawyers and financial backers for helping to clinch the deal, he disclosed that he had had to keep the news a secret since Saturday.

"It's been hard to keep quiet but I can tell you this isn't the end, it's just the beginning," he said.

Chris Evans said his reputation as a 'madman' probably helped clinch the deal, 0'17''

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