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Wales Online
Wales Online
Stephen Pitts

Contract 'mix-up' behind Ken Bruce's decision to leave BBC Radio 2, claims insider

Popular radio host Ken Bruce left the BBC because of a 'mix-up' over a new contract, it has been claimed. The Daily Mail reports that Britain's most popular radio host was not told that Radio 2 bosses wanted to give him a new three-year deal, and that he quit because he felt he was no longer wanted.

The Mail quotes a BBC insider claiming that despite the desire to hang on to the DJ, he was not told about the offer of a new contract and that was said to have helped convince him to join commercial rival Greatest Hits Radio. It says the unexpected announcement of the 71-year-old presenter's departure has sparked discord at the BBC with many people viewing it as "completely avoidable".

The Mail quotes a "well-placed source" as saying: 'They definitely wanted to renew his contract but because of a mix-up nobody told him. He is a proud man and did not want to ask. When he told them he was going they were all saying, 'but we were about to offer you a three-year deal'."

But it reports that another source close to the station disputed the contract claims, saying: "Ken was reassured on more than one occasion that his future on Radio 2 was safe."

The Scottish star was said to have been unsettled by the way the BBC axed presenter Steve Wright's long-running show last year amid a push to appeal to younger listeners. Bruce was also said to have asked bosses to stop making him play 'tuneless dance music'.

The insider told the Mail: "Ken felt unloved. Part of the issue was being told our target audience is 'mood mums' but never hearing who they are or what they want. We have started to play a lot of tuneless dance music and Ken had begged them to stop making him play it but apparently his emails never got responses."

Bruce hasd been at the BBC for 45 years, 31 of them presenting the Radio 2 mid-morning show.

A Radio 2 spokesman told the Mail: "It was Ken's decision to leave Radio 2 – we respect his decision and wish him the very best of luck in the future as he's been a much loved part of the Radio 2 family."

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