Chris Evans: Virgin Radio DJ takes aim at Dominic Cummings in Barnard Castle jibe

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Chris Evans, 53, couldn’t help but get in on the numerous jokes doing their rounds after the revelation Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser allegedly broke lockdown rules. Dominic Cummings has been the subject of public scrutiny ever since news broke that he drove over 200 miles from London to Durham, and it’s safe to say his actions have left the nation divided on whether he was right to do so or not during the coronavirus lockdown.

Is there a Specsavers at Barnard Castle?

Chris Evans

Mr Cummings is currently under investigation by Durham police over his actions after he and his wife made the long trip up north when they fell ill with suspected COVID-19, despite the stark rules to stay at home.

He said he did so under the pretence that his son would need caring for if he and his wife became too ill to do so, and that’s why they headed nearer to family.

Days later, once they were feeling better, he was then seen visiting Barnard Castle, about 25 miles from his parents’ home in Durham, with both his wife and child.

He explained his reason behind this was to “test his vision” was fine before making the long drive back to the capital, as he said he’d been having problems with his sight.


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In a recent statement this week, the advisor insisted he did not break the law, saying: “I believe that in all the circumstances I behaved reasonably and legally, balancing the safety of my family and the extreme situation in Number 10.”

He continued to say “I don’t regret what I did” and added that “the rules make clear that if you are dealing with small children that can be exceptional circumstances and the situation I was in was exceptional circumstances”.

As this debacle remains one of the top stories in the mainstream media, many have shared their thoughts on his actions.

And the jokes have begun to roll in, all centred around his “bizarre” excuse for visiting Barnard Castle while everyone else remained at home.

Tuesday saw Top Gear host Paddy McGuinness change up the catchy lyrics to Tony Christie’s smash hit Is This The Way To Amarillo, with a rendition that centred around Cummings’ trip to “test his vision”.

But Chris pointed out that Specsavers has remained open throughout the lockdown period for key-workers, should they need their eyes tested.

The radio DJ read out a message from a listener who worked in an opticians: “Paul – dispensing optician – I work in Specsavers in Camberley, all of our stores nationwide have been open for care all the way through lockdown supporting key-workers, we could have looked after Mr Cummings as he is a key-worker.”

Chris’ co-star Vassos Alexander began to laugh as Chris joked: “Is there a Specsavers at Barnard Castle?”

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Mr Cummings reasoning behind the trip has angered many across the UK as not only did the lockdown rules state we couldn’t drive long distances, but it is also very dangerous to drive with impaired vision.

Chris started to google the iconic Durham landmark and saw that most of the reviews included a slant to the advisor.

During the same time period, Chris had told listeners that he was missing out on helping his grandson on his Just Giving initiative, due to the ban on driving long journey’s to see loved ones.

“What I’m not allowed to do is drive 200 miles to go and see my daughter and run one mile with my grandson Teddy, on his Just Giving challenge,” the ex BBC presenter huffed back in April.


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“That’s not allowed even though that would be lovely for them and for me and for charity. But that’s not allowed,” he repeated.

Chris’ comment was highlighting that even though people have important events going on that they don’t want to miss, it isn’t OK to disobey government advice and go about life in a normal way.

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky airs weekdays at 6.30am on Virgin Radio.

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