What a shock after easy-going mornings.
LIKE a Labrador puppy meeting its owners for the first time, bouncy Chris Evans wants the Radio 2 listeners to LOVE him, and he will do anything and everything to get them to do so.
To be honest, he did too much. His two-and-a-half hour breakfast show was packed with singalong tunes (The Beatles' All You Need is Love and Got To Get You into My Life were the openers), listeners phoning in, an impromptu clarinet performance, a man who holds the world record for blowing up hot-water bottles. "I'm crazy, I'm crazy!" shouted Hot-Water Bottle Man, like a wacky character from an old Steve Wright programme. Argh!
The TOGs must have felt like they'd been dragged out of bed by a personal trainer and made to do star-jumps.
There were no moments of stillness, no pauses (Terry Wogan was great at the significant pause). Pause For Thought, kept over from Wogan's show, was so out of place, the Reverend Rob Gillion's mild sermon about baptism could have been beamed from space.
Evans kept reminding us that he and newsreader Moira Stuart, sports bloke Jonny Saunders and traffic lady Lynn Bowles had been practising for a week. Did no one tell him to slow down a bit? In short, Chris Evans at Breakfast was Chris Evans at Drivetime moved several hours earlier. Which is fine - Drivetime was brilliant - but it's a huge contrast to Sarah Kennedy and Ken Bruce, who bookend the show. Kennedy is still so shambling she managed to crash the pips just before Evans came on, and Bruce is a woolly cardie broadcaster.
Evans' energy is upbeat as opposed to wry; jolly as opposed to gentle.
Evans played a phone message from Wogan wishing him luck. Nice touch, but Wogan's amiable, unscripted chat just reminded us of his easy-going mornings. This was a solid, professional and cheerful show... but what a shock.