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Monday, 2 July, 2001, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Penk replaces Evans at Virgin Radio
Steve Penk
Penk: Not looking forward to the early mornings
Chris Evans' replacement Steve Penk started at Virgin Radio on Monday, denying Evans' charges that he was over the hill.

Evans, 35, had said Penk's age - 39 - would put off the younger audience.

"It's nonsense," said Penk, "I don't think age matters and some of the most successful jocks are in their 40s and 50s.

"Look at Chris Tarrant, Terry Wogan and Jonathan Ross - age doesn't come into it and really doesn't matter.

"Either you can do it or you can't."

Evans' contract was terminated last week when he failed to turn up for work for several days after being photographed drinking with friends and his new wife Billie.

Early starts

Penk - famous for his on-air spoofs - was brought in from rival station Capital Radio and was due to head the drive time show until last Thursday, when Evans and Virgin agreed to part.

Starting his first show with Have a Nice Day by the Stereophonics, he admitted he was not looking forward to the early starts for the 6am programme.

Chris Evans
Evans was sacked by Virgin after several days' absence
Speaking after the show, Penk said: "It seemed to go fine and flowed along - but the technical side of the studio is completely different from the studio I am used to.

Penk has previously presented TV Nightmares and worked on Capital Radio.

Chris Evans had been Virgin's biggest name DJ, pulling in around 1.75 million listeners.

It is not the first time that Evans has left a radio station under a cloud.

In January 1997 he left Radio 1 after disagreements with station controller Matthew Bannister, and refused to go back into the studio to serve his notice.

See also:

08 May 01 | Showbiz
The Pied Piper of Swindon
28 Jun 01 | Showbiz
Virgin axes DJ Evans
29 May 01 | Showbiz
Chris Evans banned from driving
08 May 01 | Showbiz
Evans honeymoons with Billie
08 May 01 | Showbiz
The decline of the Ginger prince
28 Feb 01 | Entertainment
No return to BBC for Chris Evans
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