‘That special magic’ - Timmy Mallett reveals incredible first encounter with Chris Evans

Virgin Radio

20 Feb 2024, 15:09

Timmy Mallett on Virgin Radio 80s Plus, Chris Evans

Credit: Virgin Radio

Beloved TV and radio presenter Timmy Mallett has dished the details about his very first meet-up with a very familiar face - Virgin Radio’s own Chris Evans. 

Before Mallett made it big on the likes of TV-am and Wide Awake Club on telly, he built up an incredibly impressive run of radio shows on Centre Radio and Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio. 

It was the latter that a “ginger haired boy” by the name of Chris Evans worked with Mallett in the very early days of his career, and while appearing on Virgin Radio 80s Plus for this week’s My 80s Playlist, the presenter reminisced about the very first time he met Evans, and recalled a rather odd but “very good” debut interview. 

Watch Timmy Mallett's My 80s Playlist below:

“[Chris] turned up with a tape recorder, which he couldn't work very well,” Timmy told host Steve Denyer. “He borrowed it from his brother to do an interview for a hospital radio, supposedly, but it was just an excuse to say hello. 

“It was a very good interview. I remember the questions he asked, isn't this weird? He was 17 at the time and he asked me funny things like how many cars have you got? Which are better, newts or tadpoles?” 

That first interview inspired Mallet to ask our Chris if he’d be interested in becoming a character for his Piccadilly Radio show, and Nobby No’level was born. 

Discussing how Chris got his character, Mallett explained: “We came up with the idea of Nobby, who had a no level in nothing. And his catchphrase was ‘what I don’t now? I don't know!’ And so forever since then, I've always called him Nobby and he will always call me boss. That's how we greet each other.”

Chris obviously went on to have a massive broadcasting career on shows including The Big Breakfast and TFI Friday, and according to Mallett, Chris “always had that special magic.”

“[Chris was] keen, enthusiastic and ready to embrace the opportunity that comes it's about making the most of our opportunities, isn't it? And when you see somebody who wants to make the most of every day and every single meeting, it's such a joy. It’s contagious.”

You can listen to Virgin Radio 80 Plus HERE. You can also listen on DAB+ in London and Central Scotland and on smart speakers across the UK, as well as via the Virgin Radio UK app.