Ken Bruce Leaves BBC Radio 2 After 31 Years To Join Greatest Hits
Ken Bruce of BBC Radio 2 has said on the air that he is leaving the station after 31 years of hosting the mid-morning show on weekdays.
His radio show is the most-listened-to in Britain, and he will now be on a competing station called Greatest Hits Radio.
“I’ve decided the time is right for me to move on from Radio 2,” he said, adding that he’d had “a tremendously happy time” there but that it was “time for a change.”
Steve Wright left after 23 years as the afternoon host before he did. Paul O’Grady and Vanessa Feltz are two other well-known hosts who left the station in the past year.
Bruce told listeners: “When my current contract ends in March, I’ll be leaving Radio 2.” Nothing is ever the same…
“I’ve been here for a while, and it might be time for me to move over and let someone else try.”
According to data from the industry group Rajar, more than 8.5 million people listen to his show every week because of the daily Popmaster quiz.
He joined the BBC in 1977 and got his first regular spot on Radio 2 in 1984. He is one of the hosts who has been there the longest.
In 1986, he relocated to the middle of the morning, then spent some time on late nights and early mornings. In 1992, he moved back to the time slot that would be his permanent spot.
The man, who was 71, said: “I really want to stress that this is all my decision.” However, some new opportunities have come up, and I would like to continue my career in a slightly different way if that is possible in the next few years.
“In the meantime, I will always be very proud of my work with the BBC and Radio 2 in particular.” He said that he would stay at the station until the end of March.
In a later statement from Greatest Hits Radio, Bruce said that Popmaster would be a part of his new show, which will start on April 3 and run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Simon Mayo, a former colleague who left Radio 2 in 2018, is already on the station.
Ben Cooper, Chief Content and Music Officer at Bauer Audio UK, which is the parent company, said that Bruce was “a broadcasting legend with the most popular radio show in the UK.”
“So, today is a hugely important day for the industry, as well as an exciting day for Greatest Hits Radio and its growing audience,” he said.
‘An Extraordinary Broadcaster’
Director of BBC Music Lorna Clarke called Bruce “an extraordinary broadcaster with an exceptional career spanning many decades.”
She said: “He was a part of every big event that BBC Radio 2 marked, and his warm humour and wit will be missed by his loyal fans and the Radio 2 all-star lineup.” “Your career has been very successful.”
Since 1988, Bruce has also been the voice of Radio 2’s Eurovision Song Contest coverage.
Ken Bruce. A beautiful man who’s always been so lovely to me at @BBCRadio2 . Going to be so missed on air, but personally I’ll miss having a beer in a foreign country discussing anything and everything whilst at Eurovision. Thanks for always being so lovely♥️. @RealKenBruce pic.twitter.com/uPMdMSGd5D
— R Y L A N (@Rylan) January 17, 2023
Rylan Clark, who has a radio show on Radio 2 every Saturday, posted on Twitter: “Going to be so missed on air, but I’ll miss having a beer in a foreign country and talking about anything and everything while at Eurovision.” “Thanks for being so nice all the time.”
He was called “a legend” by Owain Wyn Evans, who is taking over as the station’s early breakfast host.
The last BBB Annual Report says that Bruce made between £385,000 and £389,999 in 2021–22.
The BBC hasn’t said who will take Bruce’s place yet, but Radio 2 often promotes presenters from within its team.
Trevor Nelson, Rylan Clark, Claudia Winkleman, Dermot O’Leary, and Jo Whiley are all names that could be considered for Bruce’s spot.
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