One of the biggest stars of the Nineties, he wasn’t content with just being a presenter, so he formed his own production company and bought an entire radio station, Virgin – before selling it for a huge profit.

‘I went off the rails because I thought it might be interesting. But I lost control, because I was playing with fire. But I’d rather have her shining.’‘I had thought I was walking away from being on the radio to the life I wanted. The thing I was walking from turned out to be the thing I hold most dear.

Everyone expected them to be worse than Wogan’s, which had climbed to a magisterial 8.1 million as a result of all the attention given to his retirement.

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Five o’clock in the morning and Chris Evans is already up, showered and dressed, with a scarf around his neck to keep away the pre-dawn cold and damp.

He’s nursing a mug of tea as he climbs into the black Range Rover that’ll take him from his home in Surrey to Broadcasting House in central London to present the most popular show on British radio. Evans is the DJ who infamously took his Radio 1 team out on an all-day-and-night drinking spree that only ended just before they were due to go on air; and who was sacked from Virgin for failing to turn up five mornings in a row.

No way.’‘“Be yourself and trust your ability” is what he said to me, the day before his last show.

It’s the thing I and anyone else find most difficult to do when they’re nervous, but sound and simple advice nonetheless.

Evans admits that it took 20 breakfasts for the ‘necessary motor skills’ to return.

‘The strangest and most frustrating aspect of all this for me was not being able to do a job that I’d been perfectly capable of doing a few weeks before, purely because of the intense external pressure and the huge weight of expectation.’ Then the audience figures came out.“It’s about to hit the fan and it’s all coming my way.”’ 'It's alien to me that I was worth £87 million. But if you're unhappy, it really doesn't,' said Chris (above in the grounds of his Surrey home with his alsatian dog, Beth) ‘My brain shut down completely,’ he says.‘My mouth was drier than the bottom of a budgie cage and the only thing I could still hear was the sound of my own heart pounding deafeningly.The slot is still settling down, but since we began starting at 6.30am the show has become so much more relaxed and it’s given me more time to have conversations and discuss what’s going on that day.It also gives me more time to think and gather information and then run with it.The Evans who wakes people up in the morning and also presents The One Show on BBC television is a new man.