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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 June, 2003, 09:45 GMT 10:45 UK
Evans loses 8.6m damages case
Chris Evans
Mr Evans now faces a possible 4m legal bill
Broadcaster Chris Evans has lost his claim for 8.6m damages after Virgin Radio sacked him from his breakfast show job.

Evans had sued Virgin's parent company Scottish Media Group (SMG) for damages, including 8.6m of share options, claiming he was unfairly dismissed by the station in 2001.

Giving his ruling at the High Court, Judge Mr Justice Lightman said of Evans: "He has the temperament of a prima donna."

All will come out right at last - have we such faith in the goodness of providence
Chris Evans
The judge said Evans had lost his claim because he had breached the terms of his contract and had not been unfairly dismisssed.

He also ruled that SMG were entitled to damages, which would be decided at a later hearing.

Evans, 37, was not present in court but issued an enigmatic statement through his spokeswoman saying: "All will come out right at last - have we such faith in the goodness of providence."

The quote appears to derive from words attributed to US journalist Henry Stanley on meeting missionary David Livingstone in Africa.

Speaking outside the High Court following their victory, Virgin Radio spokesman Callum Spreng said the company was delighted with the judgement.

Drinking to excess is part of his lifestyle
Mr Justice Lightman
"We were always confident that the court would support our position that Chris Evans repeatedly breached the terms of his contract," he said.

"It was clear to everyone when Chris Evans walked out on us that Virgin Radio was put in an impossible situation, and had no option but to take the action we took at the time.

"We are saddened that it has taken so long, and this needless court case, for it to be established that his actions were totally unacceptable," he added.

In a lengthy assessment of Evans' personality, Mr Justice Lightman said: "He is given to extremes - moderation has no part to play. Drinking to excess is part of his lifestyle.

"He is a binge drinker. He told me with pride and no trace of embarrassment that more often than not he presented the show with a hangover.

"He has a reputation for laddish behaviour, including drunkenness.

Chris Evans with wife Billie Piper
Chris Evans married his wife Billie Piper in 2001
"Despite his confident front he is very insecure in himself, and as a consequence frequently (but not invariably) has recourse to any means (legitimate or otherwise) to avoid confrontation or unpleasant or unpalatable situations.

"Others who know him and want any continuing future relationship with him must necessarily likewise avoid any confrontation or cause for upsetting him."

Virgin had said the former DJ and TV presenter had acted unprofessionally and was fired after failing to turn up for work five days in a row.

Evans had said he was ill, but was pictured at a pub with his wife Billie Piper during his leave.

He said management at Virgin Radio had put him under so much pressure he was forced to leave.

The BBC's Nick Higham
"The star said he was disappointed but philosophical"

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