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EDITIONS
Sunday, 25 August, 2002, 19:33 GMT 20:33 UK
Evans turns back on presenting
Chris Evans
Evans rose to fame in radio

Broadcaster Chris Evans has said he is turning his back on presenting and would consider buying his own TV channel.

Speaking at the Edinburgh television festival, Evans said he wanted to concentrate on working behind the scenes.

Despite being the former presenter of Big Breakfast, Don't Forget Your Toothbrush, TFI Friday and a one-time central attraction on Virgin Radio, Evans has been absent from UK television and radio for more than a year.


It's more important for me to encourage everyone else and create talent

Chris Evans
He was sacked in a blaze of publicity by Virgin Radio after skipping his morning show for more than a week, with his marriage to teenage pop star Billie Piper attracting close tabloid attention.

He is now returning to UK broadcasting as an independent producer for Channel 4 and Channel 5, having been commissioned to make three new entertainment shows for the autumn.

Asked if he would be going back into TV presenting, Evans said: "No, I want to deal with all this stuff.

"Presenting is entirely different and trying to do both wouldn't work. It's more important for me to encourage everyone else and create talent."

Natural progression

He added that he also had no plans to go back to fronting a radio show but would "never say never".

Evans said buying his own TV station would be a natural progression for him.

"Scheduling a channel is just a bigger programme," Evans said.

Danny Baker, Chris Evans and Paul Gascoigne
Evans' private life was rarely quiet

Condemning ITV's decision to allow Richard and Judy to leave this morning, he said it had been the "biggest tragedy of the last two years".

Husband and wife team Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan now present an early evening chat show on Channel 4.

"ITV should just bite the bullet - the fact is that that they should be back on This Morning. They were happy there and that's want the country wants." added Evans.

'Bored' period

But Evans told the festival audience that at that time of his departure from TFI Friday he had been "bored".

Evans' new projects include a Channel 5 entertainment show fronted by radio presenter Chris Moyles, another with Evans' former Big Breakfast co-host Gaby Roslin and a Saturday night show called Girls and Boys for Channel 4.

At the Edinburgh book festival, veteran playwright Harold Pinter used a talk to argue Tony Blair would be joining an act of "premeditated murder" if he waged war on Iraq.

Pinter, an implacable opponent of the war in Afghanistan and the bombing campaign in Kosovo, said both Mr Blair and former US President Bill Clinton should be "arraigned as war criminals".

Pinter is implacably opposed to war on Iraq
"If you bomb you are not just going to kill Saddam Hussein.

"What you will do is kill, as usual, thousands of totally innocent people."

Making his first public appearance since announcing he had cancer in February, Pinter also said he had beaten the disease.

Before reading out a poem he had written since his diagnosis, he confided: "The whole thing remains a kind of dark dream for me."

Meanwhile, Lord Puttnam has warned BBC director general Greg Dyke he risks turning the BBC into an "abusive uncle" rather than the public's "favourite Auntie" if he resists proposed regulation of the corporation by the new media watchdog Ofcom.

'Diminished role'

The film producer told television festival delegates the BBC enjoyed a position of great power, buoyed by healthy programme ratings and secure budget.

But he said that power did not make it beyond reach and that it should accept a "diminished" role for its board of governors to allow fair and healthy competition within UK broadcasting.

The Labour peer is chairman of the joint committee on the government's communications bill, which would make vast changes to the regulation of broadcasting if passed.

Ofcom will be the all-powerful media watchdog, taking under one umbrella all the current regulators.

Coverage of the 2002 Edinburgh Festival from BBC News Online

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08 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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14 Jul 02 | Entertainment
07 Jul 02 | Entertainment
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