In 2005, he started a new career on BBC Radio 2, hosting the long-running Drivetime programme, before moving in 2010 to host The Chris Evans Breakfast Show every weekday morning. He previously presented The One Show on Fridays between 2010 and 2015. Since 2011, he has co-hosted Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park.
In 2015, he signed a three-year deal to lead a new Top Gear line-up. On 23 June 2015, it was confirmed that TFI Friday would return for its seventh series with eight episodes in December 2015. Evans confirmed that he would also return to present it. It was then revealed that the BBC Top Gear team told Evans he would have to leave TFI Friday after the upcoming series if he intended to stay with Top Gear. On 4 July 2016, Evans announced that he would be stepping down as presenter of Top Gear.
As of 2018, he continues to present the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show.
Evans was born in Warrington, Lancashire, England, the youngest child of bookmaker and health authority wages clerk Martin Joseph Evans (1921–1979), and Minnie Beardsall, who managed a corner shop. His siblings are brother David (born 1953) and sister Diane (born 1963). He started his schooling at St Margaret's Church of England Infants and Junior School, and later the Junior School in Orford, Warrington. Evans' father and both paternal uncles died of colorectal cancer. Evans' mother is a breast cancer survivor.
Evans passed the Eleven-Plus exam and started at Boteler Grammar School, Warrington. After the death of his father, the 13-year-old Evans took part-time work at an outlet of T. J. & B. McLoughlin's newsagent–tobacconist in Woolston, and ran an alternative tuck-shop at Padgate High School, which was a comprehensive school he attended for the final three years of his secondary education. Evans left secondary school at age 16 after moving into the sixth form, and he then had a number of dead-end jobs in and around Warrington, including a private detective agency and notoriously as a "Tarzan-ogram."