James O'Brien's surprise call from Chris Evans paying tribute to Steve Allen

12 December 2019, 13:55 | Updated: 12 December 2019, 14:26

James O'Brien was gobsmacked when broadcaster Chris Evans phoned in to pay a moving tribute to Steve Allen - and revealed he'd called Mystery Hour twice before under different names.

Today legendary broadcaster Steve Allen celebrates 40 years at LBC.

The caller, "Chris from London Bridge", called in to answer the question of whether presenters get allowance for their clothes on television. "Sometimes you get an allowance, sometimes you don't, it depends what show you work on," he said, "I know this because I'm a TV presenter."

James asked him what he presented and he said he used to present Top Gear and TFI Friday.

"I got all emotional waxing lyrical about one broadcasting legend and now he's another one," said James, realising who it was.

Presenter Chris Evans said Steve Allen is a legend and "it's the fact he never takes a day off unless there's an election or something. Maybe that's why they called an election so Steve gets a day off tomorrow."

"He's totally present all the time," said Chris, "there's no filter. He's as much for the listeners as they are for him - his show is the ultimate two-way street. The deeper from within you it comes, the deeper it's heard."

Steve Allen celebrates 40 years at LBC today
Steve Allen celebrates 40 years at LBC today. Picture: LBC

Chris then dropped a bombshell and admitted, "It's my third time on Mystery Hour."

"You are winding me up!" exclaimed James, and the broadcaster said this was the first time he'd used his actual name.

"I once used Martel Tonski which I made up in New York one day when I was walking down a street," Chris said, "my first time was when you had a special Mystery Hour for Make Some Noise and my question was: how come Mystery Hour's on a Thursday? And I paid £500 to ask it to you."

He said James didn't know it was him because he "put a Welsh accent on."

Chris refused to do it to order and James said that Steve Allen would do it to order.

"That's because he's a legend!" said Chris.