The BBC has announced that Radio 2 legend Ken Bruce is to step down after 31 years of presenting the 9.30am-midday weekday show. He will leave his role in March and is joining rival station Greatest Hits Radio.
Ken's Radio 2 show includes daily quiz, Popmaster, which is very popular. Prior to this, it included other competitions such as Spin It to Win It and Words Don't Come Easily, although these were dropped in 2007 following a phone-in scandal. PopMaster returned in early 2008 and will be discontinued when Ken leaves.
In his exit announcement, Ken began: “Nothing stays the same forever and I have decided the time is right for me to move on from Radio 2 when I reach the end of my current contract in March. It’s been a tremendously happy time for me: I’ve made many friends and worked with many wonderful colleagues."
He continued: "However I feel that after 45 years of full-time broadcasting on BBC Radio it’s time for a change. I would stress that this is entirely my decision but some new opportunities have come up and I would like to continue my career in a slightly different way in the next few years, the details of which will be revealed shortly. I will always be very proud of my association with the BBC and Radio 2 in particular and I’d like to thank everyone who has helped to make the mid-morning show a success.”
Director of BBC Music, Lorna Clarke said following the news: “Ken is an extraordinary broadcaster with an exceptional career over many decades. He has been part of every significant occasion marked by BBC Radio 2 and we, his faithful audience and the Radio 2 all-star line-up will miss his warm humour and wit. Congratulations on a brilliant career.”
Ken joined the BBC in 1977 as a BBC Radio Scotland staff presenter. His first regular slot on Radio 2 was the Saturday Late Show in 1984, and the following year he fronted the Radio 2 Breakfast Show, taking over from the late Terry Wogan.
He moved to mid mornings in 1986, then after a brief stint on late nights and early mornings, he returned to mid mornings in January 1992, where the show's most recent weekly reach was 8.56m (RAJAR, Q3 2022). Ken has also presented Radio 2's coverage of Eurovision since 1988, and has been a regular presenter of Sunday Night is Music Night. A new host will be announced in due course.
Fans of Ken won't have to go without their Popmaster fix for long, though as the legendary DJ will be joining Greatest Hits Radio. Ken said that Popmaster would feature in his new programme, which will begin on April 3 and will be on air from 10:00-13:00. For more showbiz and television stories get our newsletter here.