What happened to Mr Motivator – forced to leave UK, sickening injury and paintball

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Mr Motivator was the nation's original PE teacher filled with boundless energy.

Before the likes of Joe Wicks came knocking, the Jamaican-born fitness fanatic was getting us off the sofa every morning.

Real name Derrick Evans, the workout guru was beamed into our living rooms in a bid to get people moving.

Mr Motivator became famous for his glorious outfits, which featured an array of brightly-coloured Spandex, as well as his many catchphrases.

The lycra-wearing coach urged the public to "be happy", "get wicked" and would frequently yell: "Everybody say yeah!"

But what happened after Mr Motivator's GMB heyday when he left our screens?

Fitness instructor Derrick Evans, better known as Mr. Motivator, helped us get fit in the 90s
(Image: Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

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Having toured around the country giving classes for the British Heart foundation, Derrick eventually achieved his dream of getting a slot on breakfast TV.

He was training a variety of ITV stars behind-the-scenes, coaching Eamonn Holmes and Lorraine Kelly off-screen for TVshow The Main Event.

Derrick was also invited onto Gloria Hunniford's show Sunday Sunday and went on to become her personal trainer.

Through sheer perseverance he managed to secure a slot as GMTV's fitness guru in 1993.

Mr Motivator helped stars such as Lorraine Kelly workout
(Image: Daily Record)

"I knew there was a gap in the market and that ITV needed someone like me on TV, so I kept going down to the ITV studios and insisting that they give me a chance," he told TNT Magazine in January 2016.

"At first the advertisers didn’t want a black man, they wanted a white lady with two kids. But I persevered, and that was that.

"Greg Dyke, who was in charge at the time, said that Roland Rat had saved ITV in the 80s and that I added the oomph in the 90s."

His famous nickname actually game from his time touring the country with Richard Madeley and Judt Finnigan.

Mr Motivator with Cindy Crawford – one of his showbiz pals
(Image: PA Archive/PA Images)

Derrick created quite a stir and got the crowds going with his chants and loud music, so much so that Judy started calling him "Motivator", which he then added the "Mr" onto.

Mr Motivator was welcome into our living rooms every morning and became a friend to the stars.

It was reported that Dame Shirley Bassey and Cindy Crawford both had a crush on him.

The popular fitness trainer sold millions of fitness DVDs, including Mr. Motivator's 10 Minute BLTs, Mr. Motivator's 10 Minute Workouts and Bums Legs & Tums.

During his time on GMTV he also married his third and current wife, Sandra Palmer, in 1996.

After seven incredible years on our screens, Mr Motivator called it a day and decided to leave GMTV in 2000.

Derrick with wife Sandra Palmer on Mr and Mrs in 2015
(Image: We Love TV)

Derrick moved back to Jamaica for the sake of his youngest daughter Abigail, who has having health issues at the time.

In his book The Warm Up, he explained: "As a child, in 2003, she was having breathing problems, so we moved back to Jamaica where her health improved, and opened eco-tourism resort H’Evans Scent and the PaintSplat paintball centre."

His eco-tourism resorts offered a range of thrilling activities such as paintballing and ziplining in the hills of St Anns.

Despite settling in Jamaica, Mr Motivator would repeatedly fly back to the UK to make personal appearances at events.

Mr Motivator, real name Derrick Evans
(Image: PA)

He was a particular success at business conferences, where bored workers would suddenly jump up at the sight of the fitness fanatic.

Mr Motivator made a long-awaited return to GMTV in 2009 for a three-week long special to promote public health programme Change4Life, during which time he met then Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

In 2014 he was supposed to take part in BBC gymnastic show Tumble, but was forced to pull out after a serious knee injury.

He landed awkwardly after performing a straddle vault in rehearsals and dislocated his knee.

Medics rushed over to give him gas and air to ease the excruciating pain before he was rushed to hospital for surgery.

Mr Motivator is close friends with Lorraine Kelly
(Image: PA Archive/PA Images)

He continued to make fitness DVDs and released his own autobiography, The Warm Up, in 2016, leading to an appearance on pal Lorraine's show.

In 2018, Derrick decided to raffle off his incredible Jamaican mansion for just £23 a ticket.

He hoped to sell the staggering £1.87 million complex, which features a zip wire, paintball zone and games room, to an "ordinary person".

This allowed him to move back to the UK with his family, with the exercise king now residing in Manchester.

Fitness instructor Derrick Evans doing the Arm Circles Shoulder Muscles Exercise

Volunteering his services, he added: “On morning television, I believe that there’s a role for me even more.

“Even if it’s only to say, ‘Your parents grew up doing what I was doing and listening to what I was saying on breakfast TV. You now must do the same because there’s some positive messages that will resonate with you for your future.

“My message is even more important now.”

When the country went into lockdown last year, Mr Motivator realised he was needed to get our spirits up.

He returned to the small screen as part of a new BBC keep-fit offering, joining Michelle Ackerley, Dr Xand van Tulleken and Angela Rippon to keep households moving while we were made to stay at home.

Mr Motivator displayed his incredible moves
(Image: @scottygb/Twitter)

Speaking ahead of his appearance on HealthCheck UK Live, the legendary fitness expert said: "Now more than ever it is important to keep our bodies and minds healthy. Everybody say yeah, let's get happy and be wicked at home."

Complete with his ever-ready neon leotard, the fitness legend gave young upstarts like Joe Wicks a run for his money with an easy up-and-at-'em regime.

Viewers at home were loving his attitude and a new generation of fans were bouncing along to his routines.

He'll be back on the BBC again during the nation's third lockdown alongside the likes of Joe Wicks and Mark Wright.

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