LONDON — During England’s first coronavirus lockdown, weatherman Owain Wyn Evans ended a forecast by jumping onto his at-home drum kit to accompany the widely recognized BBC News theme to end his broadcast. “When they said try working from home I didn’t realise they’d expect me to do the music too,” the BBC weatherman wrote in an April 2020 tweet featuring a clip that has since been viewed more than 6 million times.
The viral moment resonated with many around the world adjusting to working from home and wondering when life would return to normal.
This weekend, Evans took his original performance to the next level — playing the drums for 24 hours on live television to raise money for charity. The highlight of the “drumathon,” which began Friday, was his rendition of the BBC News theme song — which got the help of a 50-person ensemble of professionals and amateurs.
The drumathon raised 2.7 million pounds ($3.6 million) for BBC Children in Need, a charity that funds projects or organizations that support vulnerable children.
Evans, who drums as a hobby, said he is little sore — but mostly feeling “inspired” by the public’s support for his idea to turn the viral moment into something more.
“I feel good,” he told The Washington Post on Sunday.
“I’ve got to put ice on my arms” which are scattered with bruises, he said, along with his right leg, which he used to operate the bass drum pedal repeatedly as he worked his way through a playlist that featured Britney Spears and Celine Dion.
The drumathon created another viral moment on social media this weekend: The clip that Evans shared Saturday evening of the BBC News theme remix had been viewed more than 2.4 million times on Twitter by Sunday afternoon.
“Impossible to watch this without smiling!” one Twitter user commented. Another cheered the performers as “full of energy and zest.”
The 37-year-old, who describes himself on Twitter as “unapologetically flamboyant,” said in the interview that his passion for drumming helped him with working from home amid the pandemic, which he said he found a “terrifying time.”
“My anxiety level was through the roof at the time,” he said. “Drumming has always been something that helped me with my mental health and anxiety.”
Evans described his work from home experience as “surreal,” explaining that he would wake up, put on a three-piece suit and then “wander out into the garden” with his cat to bring viewers the latest weather report.
“I thought: Why not make this even more surreal? He suggested that he create a camp weather forecast, then use the BBC music to play it.
Evans said he was honored to have been supported by a team who kept him going and dozens of enthusiastic professionals and amateurs who helped him to re-create his April rendition of the musical theme.
“I can’t believe that we’ve done it,” a visibly moved Evans told BBC’s “Breakfast” after he completed the “drumathon” challenge.
“Everyone can be a drummer. Evans said that you don’t need to be a particular way. “Anyone can do it, I believe.”
When asked how he was spending Sunday, Evans said he was taking it easy and would probably be using his hands for something a little less strenuous — like lifting a glass of champagne.