Chris Evans walks dog at 4:15am to calm nerves ahead of Virgin Radio breakfast show

Chris Evans took his new dog for a walk at 4:15am to clear his head before kicking off his new Virgin Radio breakfast show.

Evans, 52, said he couldn’t work out if he was nervous or excited ahead of his debut after stepping down from BBC Radio 2 at the end of last year.

He woke up at 4am to walk his new dog, from Battersea Dogs Home, before arriving at the studio in London Bridge just after 6am.

“I have different techniques to make me not worry,” he told the Standard. “I got up early, took the dog for a walk at 4.15am. I thought I was nervous but I was just excited.”

New home: Chris Evans posing for photographers ahead of his new breaksfast show (Jeremy Selwyn)

Evans was joined by Richard Ashcroft on Monday morning’s show, with the singer opening with a live performance of his hit Lucky Man.

“It’s a blood moon, a super wolf moon over London, a perfect day to start a radio show,” he said. “It’s going to be sizzling, hot. The point of my show is that it unfolds, you can’t plan it until the day dawns.

Guest: Richard Ashcroft kicked off the show with a live performance (Yui Mok/PA)

“There has never been a better time to be in the radio. We can reach people all over the world now with digital radio. People can contact us from Australia and all over the world it’s fantastic.”

He also thanked Zoe Ball, who last week took over his Radio 2 Breakfast Show, for sending him a good luck message ahead of his new role.

He said it felt like “home from home” as he wrapped up the first show, telling listeners: “Thank you everyone for your beautiful messages. We’re all in this together and we’re having a fabulous time and we’ll be here for episode two tomorrow.”

Fans praised him for helping them through Blue Monday, with one tweeting: “Normal service resumed.”

James Corden was among those who tuned in, tweeting: “Its 11.36pm and I’m tucked up in bed listening to @chrisevans first morning show on @VirginRadioUK. It’s making me feel incredibly homesick and yet warm and fuzzy at the same time x Great show so far x.”

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show is on Virgin Radio, weekdays at 6:30am