ONE of Britain’s best-known broadcasters has spoken of his excitement after revealing that he is going to help run a New Forest eatery.
Award-winning DJ Chris Evans is set to become the new face of The Haven, which is about to reopen after a major refurbishment costing tens of thousands of pounds.
Chris, 48, has agreed to go into partnership with Hampshire businessman Rob Smith, who has known him for several years.
Billed as the only seafront restaurant in Lymington, The Haven is part of a huge marina complex and provides stunning views of the Solent.
Rumours Earlier this year Lymington was rife with rumours that Chris would help run The Haven @ the Monkee House, formerly the Tollhouse Inn, where Rob has been based since The Haven closed for refurbishment.
But the Daily Echo can today confirm that he has agreed to become involved in The Haven itself following a deal clinched over the weekend.
Chris, of Ascot, Berkshire, is expected to be present when the new-look bar and restaurant reopens at Easter.
Rob said: “He used to have a boat at Lymington, which is how we met.
“I asked him to come down and have a look and he said he’d love to be involved – he’s as excited about it as I am.
“Apart from loving food, wine and hospitality he also likes Lymington and the New Forest.”
The former TFI Friday star is currently a presenter on Radio 2 and co-hosts The One Show on BBC TV. He already owns three pubs in Surrey, Monmouthshire and West Sussex.
Asked how much time Chris was likely to spend at The Haven Rob added: “He’s a busy boy.
“But I’m positive that if I ask him to come down and pull a pint he will – he’s that sort of person.
“He’s still got his radio show and his other pubs but the door is open to him 24/7.”
Confirming his new business venture Chris tweeted: “Absolutely delighted to be involved with Rob Smith and his family in The (new) Haven bar and restaurant in Lymington. Very excited indeed.”
Rob is one of Lymington’s best-known figures.
In 2012 he painted a postbox gold in honour of Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie after the Royal Mail refused to do it themselves.
Rob was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage but no further action was taken against him.