ABC offered me $1m a year to sit at home, watch their output and tell them what I thought

ABC offered me $1m a year to sit at home, watch their output and tell them what I thought

ABC offered me a million bucks a year to sit at home, watch their output and tell them what I thought. I said yes

Last updated at 1:51 AM on 15th May 2011

Sir Simon Of The Cowell (pictured with Paula Abdul) is about to discover if his U.S. X Factor is voted through to the next round by the American public

Sir Simon Of The Cowell (pictured with Paula Abdul) is about to discover if his U.S. X Factor is voted through to the next round by the American public

Sir Simon Of The Cowell is about to discover if his U.S. XFactor is voted through to the next round by the Americanpublic. It will be.

Talent shows have always been a winner – askBilly Butlin or Julius Caesar.

Hats off also to the two other Britsjoining him on the Fox network at prime time: Steve Jones and Ms Cheryl”I miss me mam but you have to do these things if you wanna gerron,like” Cole.

The American telly industry is akin to British telly only inthat it”s broadcast on actual TVs.

For example, in the U.S. version ofour low-budget makeover show Changing Rooms, the family return to their old house to discover it hasbeen razed to the ground and replaced by a brand new building, with SirElton John sitting pertly at the new Steinway as they cross thethreshold. I”m not joking.

But boy, do the networks call the shots if you do work forthem, as Hugh Laurie confirmed when he dropped in on the brekkie showlast week. The standard minimum contract for a performer/host/actor issix years at 22 shows a year. No exceptions (except for Hugh now,because he”s the most valuable actor in the world today – hurrah!).

Iwas offered a contract like this 100 years ago when I was 28. ABCwanted me to host Don”t Forget Your Toothbrush over there for $11 million. The problem I didn”t want tolive in LA.

“No problem,” they said. “We”ll move the show to New York and fly you back and forth on Concorde each week.”

I can”t remember how I ultimately declined their offer, butABC and I were not meant to be. Not until several years later, that is,when I was – ironically – living in LA, and they offered a millionbucks a year simply to sit at home, watch their output and ring them upto tell them what my thoughts were. This was a job I did say yes to – until I had to return to Britain before I could even get started.

I can

I can”t remember how I declined their offer, but ABC and I were not meant to be. Not until several years later, that is, when I was – ironically – living in LA

Channel 5 were struggling to find an audience and their bosses thoughtI might be able to create a couple of new shows. I”d never beeninvolved in their genre before, but I was hot. They thought that mightbe enough. It never is.

That”s why I await with great intrigue Simon”snew ITV game show, Red Or Black, which wasannounced last week. As you may have gleaned from its title, there”s a50-50 chance of somebody winning. Odds ITV would kill for as to itbeing a hit.

Golf genius Seve Ballesteros began by playing on his local beach with his only friends: a three-iron and one golf ball

Golf genius Seve Ballesteros began by playing on his local beach with his only friends: a three-iron and one golf ball

Knowing I am a certified golf nut, various media outlets asked mefor my thoughts after the sad passing of Seve Ballesteros. Irespectfully declined.

There are many voices out there more qualifiedto elucidate on Seve”s legend.

But I did dive into everything that hassince been written about him, and in so doing discovered the seed ofhis golfing genius – he began by playing on his local beach with hisonly friends: a three-iron and one golf ball.

Now, anyone who plays this mysterious game knows that trying to hit aball out of a bunker – which is what a beach is – with a three-ironis like trying to row around the globe in a colander with cocktailsticks for oars.

Due to lack of funds, and the fact he was only seven,the only time Seve sneaked onto a golf course was under cover ofdarkness; he could only work out where a shot had gone from the feel ofthe club in his hands and the sound it made as the ball left the clubface.

Can you imagine how Master Ballesteros must have felt when he waspresented with a set of 14 clubs and the most luscious fairways in theworld In daylight

Weymouth seafront for a quick nine, anyone

The Spring Clean.Is there a cutoff point Say, when thebluebells are fading – ie, last week Or are wives all over Britainstill justified even now in cajoling their corpulent-headed husbandsinto confronting domestic clutter and Doing Their Bit

This morning, I seem to have agreed under Rule 5004/Article3/Point 1 of How To Stay Married to “sort out” the basement with thepromise we can have a curry instead of Chinese tonight. Pathetically,this development in the negotiation process made the chore suddenlyless objectionable – until I did a recce of the Evans below-stairszone.

My God, what a mess. Golf clubs everywhere. Two half-builtremote-control helicopters, a flood-damaged Scalextric set, a FenderStratocaster guitar case (no guitar) and other miscellany. I didvaguely recognise most of the passing fads of decades. I also realisedI had no recollection of the space they were languishing in. Simplybecause, in the three years we”ve lived at our present home, I hadnever been down there once.

More from Chris Evans…

CHRIS EVANS: My fellow schlebs, I say unto you: If you don”t like the microscope be damn sure you keep whatever”s down there where it should be

CHRIS EVANS: Oh dear. Russell Brand”s Arthur doesn”t laugh once. And real drunks don”t look like that. So what was I going to say when I met him

CHRIS EVANS: If there”s one flavour that can penetrate our taste buds at altitude it”s the zesty sing of a 50g tin of Beluga baby

CHRIS EVANS: “Captain Evans,” the instructor intones, “remember: there are old pilots and bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots”

CHRIS EVANS: I knew it! A man with a mouse”s voice and a wallet to match… If you really want to pick up the tab, just pick it up

CHRIS EVANS: To say the American Embassy is security-conscious is like saying there”s a chance Usain Bolt might edge past Peter Kay running for the bus

CHRIS EVANS: I was surprised by how assertive Barry Manilow is – but you don”t bat your way from Brooklyn to a palace by being a pushover

CHRIS EVANS: Do some people really think watching celebrities falling over on an ice rink is why the Big Bang put us here


I decided to make this a Spring Clean point of order and take it to the household committee – an appeal of logic against the expending of any further energy on a futile operation.

“Sweetheart, darlingness, when was the last time YOU came down here ” I shouted up the stairs.

“Last week.”

“And before last week”

“Last year.”

“So twice in 12 months”

“If that.”

“So, er, forgive me for asking, sweetest of all peas, but what does it matter if it”s tidy or not”

“BECAUSE I”LL KNOW!” I have no idea what this means, except that there are parts of Italy I”m likely to see more frequently over the next decade than our cellar. As far as I”m aware, I”ve not been asked to tidy any of those.

Later that night, I was bathing Noah when I heard myself saying, “Wash behind your ears.”

“But why, Daddy”

“Son,” I said, “I really have no idea. But if you don”t, your mum will know, which is all either of us need to know.”

We encounter a lot of horsey types round our way, being near to Ascot. Recently, on the eve of a bloodstock sale, we heard an auctioneer and his gang having a conflab at our local Italian.

Turned out he had a stammer – yes, the stammer with the hammer – but admirably this had never deterred him. Indeed, by all accounts it can actually be quite useful to eke out an extra bid. Thinking time is everything, and who”s going to hurry him up

It reminds me of the great Michael Grade and his famous props.

“Why do you smoke those huge cigars” I once asked him. Just as he was about to answer, he paused for a second and took a long, slow drag.

“Sometimes you just need those extra few seconds to make sure what”s about to come out of your mouth is actually what you want people to think you mean.”

There”s so much going on in that explanation it still leaves me speechless to think about it, which of course Michael never is.

Mrs E and I are trying for another sprogling, but there have been complications. We were upset at first, but it didn”t take long to remember how lucky we are to have our brilliant little boy Noah and his big sis Jade in the first place, which is so much more than some people ever get to experience.

With this thought in mind, and the support of our friends and family, we quickly regrouped and sought an alternative method of sproglet-making. This week was the week. Eggs were gathered. The stork was called upon. I was told to “abstain” for several days before. Diligent to follow all procedures to the letter, I presumed this meant no alcohol or general debauchery.

Now, I”m not sure quite how to put this. But, gentle reader, we are all grown-ups, are we not

It turned out the lovely people at the magic clinic were referring to something else altogether…