Chris Evans: Virgin Radio DJ’s trick question to Matt Hancock backfires in awkward moment

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Chris Evans, 54, featured Health Secretary Matt Hancock on his Thursday show for the second time during the coronavirus pandemic, but it didn’t all go to plan. As the former BBC host aimed to trick Mr Hancock into answering a difficult question, it backfired as the minister refused to answer.

I live it every day, even at weekends so I can’t take myself out of it

Matt Hancock

Chris wanted to know what the Health Secretary would think about the new social distancing rules the government are toying with putting in place as they move to ease the UK slowly out of lockdown, if he wasn’t who he was.

“Let’s imagine for a second you’re not who you are and you don’t do what you do for a job yet you have all that information at hand,” Chris suggested, as Mr Hancock chuckled in the background.

“What might you say – it’s all over the papers that social distancing could go down from two metres to one metre, what would you say?”

There was continuous nervous laughter from the minister before he told Chris he couldn’t answer.


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“Oh I see, that’s tempting,” he giggled.

“The problem is, I am!”

Chris interrupted with a groan: “I know, I know, I know.”

Mr Hancock continued: “I live it every day, even at weekends so I can’t take myself out of it.”

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come under pressure to scrap the two metre social distancing rule, which was brought in to stop the virus from spreading from person to person.

Tory backbenchers, including former cabinet ministers Sir Iain Duncan Smith and Damian Green, insisted it is essential for the economy.

As the government are continuing to review the lockdown measures still in place as they guide England on the road to recovery, we could see new updates to existing rules in due course.

It follows the recent announcement of now allowing single adults to stay at one other household from Saturday.

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In attempt to help combat loneliness for people living on their own for over 10-weeks, No 10 said that people were being trusted to observe the rules.

The relaxation doesn’t apply to those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Latest government figures show that there were 1,266 new cases in the UK on 11 June, the lowest it’s been, and Mr Hancock was happy things were moving in the right direction.

Chris acknowledged there must be a sense of relief for the government to convey good news to the nation at such a trying time.


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“We look at all the information and it’s all moving in the right direction, Chris,” the minister gushed.

“We are beating this thing, but we just have to remain sure we keep on top of it and keep it moving the right way.”

But Chris will never find out the answer to that question – if Matt Hancock was a member of the pubic, how would he view the government’s progress then?

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show continued weekdays on Virgin Radio at 6:30am.

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