Chris Evans: Virgin Radio host nearly ‘told off’ by Matt Hancock over social distancing

Chris Evans, 53, featured Health Secretary Matt Hancock on his Monday morning Virgin Radio show to talk about he importance of social distancing and what the UK can expect to happen in the imminent future as the coronavirus continues to spread through the nation. The deadly virus has now killed 335 people in the UK, and experts warn it is set to get worse as we follow Italy two weeks behind.

You really worried then as you were describing that there, Chris. I thought I was going to have to give you a telling off!

Matt Hancock

But while having Mr Hancock on the show to discuss the increasingly worrying and important matters, Chris found himself almost getting a telling off from the Health Secretary, who almost scolded him after he gave him a scenario to answer.

Chris gave Mr Hancock a “real life scenario” in which he and his family went to visit his great aunt and uncle who are currently self-isolating.

He revealed his uncle Rubic is 80-years-old and has an underlying health condition, but the host and his four children stayed halfway down the path and “waved at them” from about 10-ft away.

The former BBC Two Radio DJ then described that his auntie Pauline was worried about what will happen after the 12 week isolation period is up.

So Chris put her concerns to the health secretary.


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“Best case scenario, best informed guess – what does a win look like in three-six months time if there is a win available at all here?” he quizzed.

His guest replied: “There is a win available if people follow the advice, follow the rules, and stay away from each other, just like you did.”

But he confessed he did start to worry that Chris’ scenario was going to end in him socialising more closely with his older relatives.

“You really worried then as you were describing that there, Chris,” Mr Hancock giggled, relieved.

“I thought I was going to have to give you a telling off!”

“But you did the right thing. We’ve said that 12 weeks at first [people are] going to have to stay in to protect [themselves] and protect others, but we hope by then we can turn the time on this and relax some of the more stringent rules. But we’re only going to be able to do that if we get a grip on the spread of this virus and we can only do that, if people stay more than two metres away from each other.”

He went on to say that the government are working on treatments and expanding the current testing capacity.

It comes just hours before Prime Minister Boris Johnson placed the UK on lockdown following the hundreds of people taking advantage of the sunny weekend, where they flocked to the beaches and parks in large numbers to enjoy the nice weather, totally ignoring the recommended advice to stay away from other people to contain the spread.

As of last night, people must stay at home with the only exceptions for being outside being for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, medical or care need, and travelling to and from work where “absolutely necessary”.

Shops selling non-essential goods are being told to shut and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together are to be prohibited.

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The Prime Minister also gave the police power to fine people who venture outside without a reason and disperse large gatherings, in a huge crack down to try and get ahead of this public health emergency.

And it was only yesterday that Chris revealed he “wasn’t happy” about having to make a coronavirus to-do list incase we go into quarantine, but it looks like it’s come in handy after all.

He announced the decision to make a list of all the things he needed to do before the government took “tougher measures” in order to get members of the public to stay inside and take social distancing “seriously”.

“I’ve gone over to the dark side, Rachel,” Chris admitted.

“I’ve compiled a coronavirus to-do list and I’m not happy about it.”


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Rachel suddenly erupted with laughter and exclaimed: “Yes!”

It seems the former BBC host wasn’t onboard with prepping for the worst, but now he’s had to

He added: “I’m not happy about the coronavirus but I’m really not happy about the fact I seem to have slipped over to the dark side of the to-do list gang.”

Chris then made it clear to his listeners that they “need to prepare” for what’s next for the UK, as the death toll continues to rise.

The Chris Evans Breakfast show airs weekdays at 6:30am on Virgin Radio.

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