Chris Evans: Virgin Radio host left stunned over co-host’s visit to see the Pope

Chris Evans, 53, learnt something new about his co-star Rachel Horne on Thursday morning’s show, as she revealed she and her husband met the Pope during a special wedding service after they got married. Rachel, who is Catholic, married comedian Alex Horne in 2005 and the pair share three children together, Barney, Tom and Dara.

We went to the Vatican and we were part of that audience and we went right to the front

Rachel Horne

As Alex isn’t a member of the Catholic faith, they had an ecumenical service, and the ceremony was conducted by her uncle who was a Catholic bishop.

She revealed that due to her faith, she and Alex qualified to apply to attend a special audience with the Pope – something that’s only offered to couples who have been married less than a year.

“Tell us everything to do with that story Rachel!” Chris exclaimed, eager to hear more.

And, as the newsreader began the long tale, the former Top Gear host was left gobsmacked from start to finish.


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“Alex was doing a show about Latin and trying to resurrect various language for the Edinburgh festival, so he thought if he could speak Latin to the Pope, that would be really good,” she recalled.

“There is so much to this story, it’s such a good story,” Chris chuckled in the background.

“Along with a couple of friends, we booked flights to Rome, me in my wedding dress, and we stayed in this tiny ridiculous hostel somewhere in the middle of Rome.

“I put my wedding dress on and we walked though the streets of Rome, which was incredible because all these people kept going ‘Bella Bella!’ out of their car windows!”

Chris was gasped with joy as Rachel recalled having “no fear” as it wasn’t actually her wedding day.

“Oh this is the thing to do!” the host laughed, as Rachel admitted to feeling at ease.

“We went to the Vatican and we were part of that audience and we went right to the front,” she remembered.

“And, Alex said ‘Salve papa’ [Hello Pope] to the actual Pope as we touched his hand!”

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Chris giggled: “Lets hope that wasn’t rude and Alex didn’t get it wrong!”

Actor Tim Key, was in attendance to the special ceremony and disclosed Alex filmed it for part of his When in Rome show.

But that wasn’t the only thing Chris learnt about Rachel this month.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many of us have been working form him, including members of the Virgin Radio team.

Rachel has been in self-isolation after one of her boys showed mild symptoms of the deadly virus and has been joining the show via video link.


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But as she appeared on-screen from her front room, Chris was appalled at the wallpaper behind her.

“You’ve taken down the picture that I loved, now it’s just the wallpaper that I hate!” He gasped, shocked at the colour and pattern of the wall.

Their other co-star Vassos Alexander, howled with laughter at the blatant insult, as the host gasped and apologised for spouting his honesty.

Before retreating to safety by playing another song, Rachel hit back: “I think you should just stop talking about the wallpaper,” she snapped.

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky continues weekdays at 6am on Virgin Radio.

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