Chris Evans asked listeners not to “shed too many tears” as he began his final breakfast show on Radio 2.
The broadcaster, who has been at the BBC station since 2005 and has had the breakfast slot since January 2010, is departing to return to Virgin almost 20 years after he left.
Evans, 52, told listeners: “It is sad. It’s a sad day today. But it is also an exciting day for everyone. You’ve got to turn the pages sometimes. If you wait for other people to turn them it might never happen, you know what I am saying?”
The Christmas Eve show is the former TFI Friday and Top Gear host’s last before he is replaced by Zoe Ball in the new year.
Replying to emails and text messages, Evans asked fans: “Please don’t shed too many tears during our final morning.”
He added: “This is your show. It’s a two-way street today. Truly, definitively. It is your input.”
His Virgin Radio breakfast show will begin on January 21.