LOS ANGELES-Chris Evans feels ''very blessed'' to be back on Virgin Radio.

The 52-year-old presenter kicked off 'The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky' on the station at 6.30am on Monday morning and was thrilled to return to the airwaves, a few weeks after stepping down from his BBC Radio 2 weekday morning show.

Chris - who originally helmed the breakfast show on Virgin Radio for four years until 2001 - began the show by exclaiming: ''This is very exciting.

''It's so great to be back on Virgin Radio. It's a real treat, we've very blessed and we couldn't be more grateful''

The first song from the programme was delivered live by Richard Ashcroft, who performed his former group The Verve's classic hit 'Lucky Man' and went on to perform five other tracks on the show, including 'Like A Ship (without a Sail)', 'Bittersweet Symphony', 'The Drugs Don't Work' and 'That's How I Feel It'. Chris has been succeeded on his Radio 2 slot by Zoe Ball and he revealed she'd sent him a good luck message on Sunday.

He said: ''Zoe, thanks for your text message last night, it was very sweet of you.'' And the former 'Top Gear' presenter isn't worried about going up against the 48-year-old star for ratings as he thinks ''quality'' broadcasting is good for everyone. He said: ''If anybody's good at anything, there is room for everyone. It helps with the quality of the business.'' As well as Richard, Chris was also joined for his first show by comics Paul Whitehouse, Romesh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett.

The presenter originally hosted Virgin's breakfast show from 1997 until 2001 when he was sacked by the Scottish Media Group, which bought the station in 2000, for ''breach of contract'' after he failed to turn up for work for the sixth day in succession.a