Chris Evans: Virgin Radio DJ chokes up as he remembers pal who ‘suddenly died’ last month

Chris Evans, 53, remembered his Virgin Radio pal Pete Mitchell on Monday, as they kick-started his “brainchild” idea on the show. Chris revealed Pete had come up with the 100 Greatest Albums suggestion and in his memory, they were going ahead with the weekly segment.

Pete went out for a walk… collapsed… and suddenly died

Chris Evans

The candid tribute caused Chris to choke up slightly, as he explained how the radio team were honouring his memory.

“We’re counting down our 100 Greatest Albums of all time as voted for you in our poll!” he began.

“This is the brainchild of Pete Mitchell, our pal who suddenly passed away second week of March of this year.”

The former BBC host paused before remembering good times with his friend.

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“We were all out a couple of weeks before, celebrating our [The Chris Evans Virgin Radio show] first birthday.

His voice started quivering as he explained how Pete passed away so tragically after going out for a walk near his home in Stockport on March 12.

“Pete went out for a walk… collapsed… and suddenly died,” he said, having to continually pause to compose himself.

“He was putting this together and we had a lovely show in his memory on the radio last night [April 12].”

The show, presented by Chris and produced by Pete’s wife Helen, aired Easter Sunday.

It was a celebration of his life and career with contributions from musicians and friends Tim Burgess from The Charlatans, Guy Garvey from Elbow, and Pete’s long-time radio partner Geoff Lloyd.

A statement on behalf of his family at the time stated his cause of death was “unknown” but “he was not thought to be displaying any signs of illness.”

He is survived by his wife and their two sons Adam and Sean, and the many artists whose careers he helped launch.

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Sunday was, as expected, a pretty emotional day for the ex-Top Gear presenter and all those who knew Pete.

Chris described the tribute show as “fantastic”, before thanking everyone who contributed to his wonderful memory.

“His brainchild continues today in his memory, in his honour.”

Chris’ show covers all things from breaking news to trending topics and there is nothing he holds back on-air.

Recently, he expressed his frustration with people complaining about the coronavirus lockdown and having to stay at home.

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Giving listeners an example scenario to show that if the circumstances were different, people would much prefer to stay at home with their family than go to work.

“You’d jump at the chance wouldn’t you?!” he snapped, losing patience with those who keep flouting lockdown rules.

Aside from specific circumstances that make lockdown difficult for some people, he lost it with everyone else.

“For a lot of other people – shut up honestly.

“Let’s just get on with it.”

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show continues on Virgin Radio at 6:30am weekday mornings.

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