His replacement on the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show Zoe Ball maintained a listenership of about 9m.Read more
The singer was on hand to help his old mucker kick-off his new radio show on Virgin radio, with a performance of his verve classic Lucky Man.
The former Radio 2 breakfast host said: "it's so great to be back on Virgin". as he launched his new breakfast radio show; his first since he exited BBC Radio 2 on Christmas Eve, after nine years.
"There's been a lot of talk about the first song I'm going to play," Evans said before he introduced the singer.
"But I press buttons, I don't play songs, musicians play songs. Why don't we get a musician to play a song live, how about Richard Ashcroft?"
If you didn't catch the live version, treat yourselves to the original, from 1997,above.
Chris Evans gives his "big goodbye", saying: "Most of all I would like to thank my wife Natasha."