British presenter Chris Evans was forced to cancel his breakfast show broadcast at BBC Radio 2 this morning at the last minute, after he learned of the death of his beloved mother, Minnie Beardsall.

At the beginning of Thursday’s broadcast (May 3rd), regular listeners were surprised to find stand-in presenter, sports reporter Vassos Alexander, telling them that Evans was absent because he had just heard that his mother had died at the age of 92.

“Chris isn’t here. He has been here. But he had to go just before we went on air,” Alexander told listeners, before reading out a quick note that Evans had left for him.

Chris EvansChris Evans pictured with his family in 2017

“The reason I’m not with you today is because just before I came on air my mum passed away and I needed to go straight back home to be with my family,” the statement read. “But it’s all OK, in fact it’s very OK, mum needed to be at peace. Moreover she needed to be at peace for some time now, and as she has throughout her life, in death she has brought us together.”

More: Chris Evans’ Radio 2 breakfast show suffers loss of half a million listeners

“She was an incredible woman. Anyone who has ever met her will tell you that an ultimately there was no battle lost only a life won. Every single day.”

The note finished saying that Chris would be back at work on Friday as normal, with today’s show being dedicated to Evans and his family.

“If mum had the first idea I might not have shown up today because of her she would have been furious. I hope you have a lovely Thursday. See you tomorrow.”

Evans, 52, has hosted BBC Radio’s breakfast show ever since 2010, and regularly clocks up over nine million listeners, making it the most popular radio show in its slot in Britain.

More: Chris Evans asks for mother’s advice as he defends salary amid BBC pay controversy