Mr Motivator MBE
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About Mr Motivator MBE
Who is Mr Motivator
Derrick Errol Evans MBE, or as you may know him, “Mr Motivator”, was born on the 15th November 1952. He is a Jamaican-born British fitness instructor who rose to fame in 1993 through appearances on GMTV, the popular UK breakfast television show. He performed live fitness sessions on there whilst offering up tips and advice to the viewers. His fitness sessions were so popular that he went on to release a number of different fitness and workout videos during the 1990s.
Mr Motivator - Early Life
Derrick Evans was born in Manchester Parish, Jamaica, to a single mother who gave him away when he was just three months old. His adopted father was a farmer on a small farm in Jamaica. In 1961, when Derrick was 10 years old, his adopted family moved to Leicester in the UK where his father worked as a labourer in a knitwear firm. His adoptive mother, Teresa, left the UK after only two years because of the climate, but his adoptive father stayed until Derrick was 17 years old. Derrick’s first job was the same year where he worked for the East Midlands Gas Board in the customer complaints department. He then sold costume jewellery in high street shops and became financially secure.
It was in 1983 that Derrick taught exercise classes at a local church in Neasden, North West London. His classes became extremely popular and he was asked by the British Heart Foundation to give classes throughout the country. He applied repeatedly to be taken on by ITV and eventually, in 1993, Greg Dyke hired him to appear on the breakfast show, GMTV and so Mr Motivator was born.
Where did the name ‘Mr Motivator’ come from?
Derrick said the name Mr Motivator came from street performances that he, Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan gave to crowds in shopping centres and streets. Apparently Finnigan often shouted that Evans was a ‘motivator’ and the name stuck!
Getting onto GMTV
Evans found his fame on the widely popular British morning breakfast show GMTV in 1993 as Mr Motivator. He was known for promoting health and fitness to the nation as a way of life. He would often be found performing live on-air fitness routines whilst wearing brightly coloured outfits, this soon caught on and became his signature look. His many appearances on GMTV led to Derrick becoming very well known throughout the UK.
Mr Motivator’s popularity on the show led to the release of a number of different fitness videos, including: ‘Mr Motivator’s 10 Minute BLTs’, ‘Mr Motivator’s 10 Minute Workouts’, ‘Body Conditioner: Shot in Barbados’, ‘BLT2: Shot in Australia’, and ‘Bum, Legs & Tums’. He is reported to be the person to have sold the most fitness DVDs in the UK.
Mr Motivator left GMTV in 2000 and went back to Jamaica due to his daughter having breathing problems. After settling back down in Jamaica, Motivator then started up a tourism business called ‘H’Evans Scent’, which offers activities such as ziplining and paintballing. Motivator continued to make personal appearances at events in the UK for the following decade. After leaving GMTV, together with his son, Benjamin, Motivator formed his production company “Wicked Productions” and continued to release fitness videos.
In 2007, Mr Motivator made a comeback to TV, advertising his new BLT workout. In 2009 Derrick Evans returned to GMTV as Mr Motivator for a three-week-long special to promote the public health programme Change4Life. While promoting the new health programme Derrick was able to meet then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
In June 2014, the BBC announced that Evans would compete on a new Saturday gymnastics competition programme entitled ‘Tumble’, but he had to withdraw from it after dislocating his knee and needing surgery. In 2016, Derrick released his autobiography, entitled ‘The Warm Up’ which told his story of growing up in Jamaica. The same year Derrick appeared on British talk show ‘Lorraine’ in promotion of his new book.
Mr Motivator’s Return to TV
In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic and in line with the huge surge of home-based workouts, Mr Motivator joined BBC television’s HealthCheck UK Live to help “keep Britain fit in lockdown”. In May of the same year he joined Ideal World live everyday at 12pm for a workout routine all in aid of AgeUK. Derrick was then appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to health and fitness.
Dealing with Racism
When recalling some of his early experiences of racism to the Radio Times, Derrick told how when he arrived from Jamaica to Leicester at the tender age of 10, everyone would look at him as he walked past. So he would simply turn around, smile and wave back. He then told how at a later date, when going into his very first job interview, the boss asked him why he didn’t mention he was black, to which Derrick replied “Why didn’t you tell me you were white?”
Mr Motivator - Personal Life
Derrick Evans lives with his wife Sandra Palmer and youngest daughter in St Ann, Jamaica, dividing his time between there and the UK. He has been married three times and has previously been in a relationship with Olympic javelin champion Tessa Sanderson.
Who is Mr Motivator Derrick Errol Evans MBE, or as you may know him, “Mr Motivator”, was born on the 15th November 1952. He is a Jamaican-born British fitness instructor who rose to fame in 1993 through appearances on GMTV, the popular UK breakfast television show. He performed live fitness sessions…