Grieving Chris Evans puts on a brave face as he arrives back at work at Radio 2 and pays emotional tribute to late mum Minnie

The 52-year-old was forced to pull out of his Radio 2 show yesterday morning when his mum passed away at the age of 92, but was back on air this morning.

Praising his fans and friends for their support and paying tribute to Minnie, he told his listeners: “Thank you to Vanessa [Feltz] for the lovely card, thank you to the team for such wonderful support yesterday and thank you to you guys.

“It's not the loss that gets you, it's the love following the loss that gets you. So much love for a lady you never met.

“It seems actually some of you did know her, you had met her. My mum passed away just before we went on the air yesterday, so I had to go home to be with my family.

“The team here were just unbelievable as usual, I shouldn't have expected anything less…they were just marvellous. We are back [on air] as Mum would have insisted we should be.”

Chris continued: “I'm sounding quite chipper today but I'm just so happy my Mum's at peace.

“My mum was only supposed to last a month or two, but five months after this, seven months in all, she was still there. All the carers, all the district nurses, have just been absolutely fantastic. But no more fantastic than you guys. You're all gorgeous.

“My brother-in-law Tom said "in the end maybe she was too tough for her own good", which I thought was a lovely way of putting it.”

Sports reporter Vassos Alexander stepped in yesterday to tell fans why Chris couldn’t make it on air and read out a touching note from the broadcaster.

His mum raised Chris in Warrington with his siblings Diane and David while running a corner shop.

Later in life she moved to be closer to her Berkshire-based DJ son, who revealed last month that he was expecting twins with his wife Natasha.

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