BBC presenter Evan Davis has revealed that he found out about the death of his father during a phone call on his wedding day.
The Dragon’s Den star, 61, said in an interview with The Sunday Times that he received a text from his brother Roland shortly after the ceremony with his husband in Lambeth town hall last July, telling him to ‘Call ASAP’.
Mr Davis, who has presented Radio 4’s flagship early evening current affairs show PM since 2018, managed to slip away from his guests during the reception to ring his brother back, who then told him that their father Quintin had taken his own life.
He had just married his partner Guillaume Baltz, 56, a French landscape architect, on the same day that 17 conservative MPs resigned, which forced Boris Johnson himself to stand down as PM the day after.
Mr Davis, whose wedding day had already been distracted by the drama unfolding in Westminster, told his guests about the tragic news of his father’s death urging them not to ‘be alarmed’ as ‘he was elderly and it was definitely his time’.
BBC presenter Evan Davis found out about the death of his father during a phone call on his wedding day
Evan married his partner Guillaume Baltz (pictured together), 56, a French landscape architect, last July the day that 17 conservative MPs resigned, which forced Boris Johnson himself to stand down as PM the day after
Mr Davis’ father, who he said ‘had a wonderful, long and happy life’, had already told the presenter and his two brothers that he planned to take his own life as his physical and mental state were deteriorating.
Quintin had sent them all an email a year before informing them of his intentions and they did not try to talk him out of it.
Mr Davis told The Sunday Times that after announcing the news at his wedding party, one of his guests, Elizabeth Filkin, a former parliamentary standards commissioner, proposed a toast to his late father.
The day after the ceremony, he went back to work at the BBC Broadcasting House in London and broke into tears when colleagues asked how the day went.
Four hours after going on air to host the PM programme, Johnson resigned. Mr Davis said that the whole week was ‘very weird’.
Mr Davis and his partner met in a bar in 2002 and have been together ever since.
He graduated from Oxford with a first in politics, philosophy and economics and took a masters at Harvard before joining the BBC as an economics reporter, then editor. He has been the host of Dragons’ Den since 2005.
Earlier this year, the BBC star found himself at the centre of another impartiality row as his Radio 4 show failed to ‘remind listeners’ about ‘opposing opinions’ on legalising cannabis.
Four hours after going on air to host the PM programme, Johnson resigned. Mr Davis said that the whole week was ‘very weird’
It came days after Prince Harry had spoken out about his recreational use of illegal drugs during an intimate chat with a toxic trauma expert.
The Corporation ‘partially upheld’ a complaint over an interview Mr Davis conducted with a professor who was in favour of legalising cannabis, on Radio 4’s PM show.
After the programme aired in October, a listener complained about ‘the absence of an alternative view’ and a ‘lack of impartiality on the part of the presenter’.
A month prior, the BBC was forced to apologise after Mr Davis was accused of making ‘perfunctory efforts’ to challenge a trans guest who accused JK Rowling of transphobia.
In 2019, shortly after quitting as host of Newsnight to take over at PM, Mr Davis admitted that he felt better suited to radio.
He said at the time: ‘I didn’t want to do Newsnight for ever, because it’s an intense job and unsociable due to the hours. I would have liked to have gone on, but if something like PM comes up and you say no then someone else gets it, and there’ll be no vacancy for another ten years.’
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