Ken Bruce Claims BBC Is Making Him Leave Radio 2 Show Early, As He Confirms Final Show Date

The broadcaster – whose replacement Vernon Kay will not be on air until May – said he'd wanted to fulfil his contract to the end of March.
Ken Bruce will present his last show on Radio 2 next Friday
Ken Bruce will present his last show on Radio 2 next Friday
Dan Kitwood via Getty Images

Ken Bruce has claimed he has been made to vacate his BBC Radio 2 show early, after quitting as the host of the mid-morning weekday slot earlier this year.

The broadcaster has tweeted that next week will be his last on the station after 31 years, despite him wanting fulfil his contract until the end of next month.

“I will be presenting my last show on Radio 2 next Friday,” he told fans on Friday evening.

“I had intended fulfilling my contract until the end of March but the BBC has decided it wants me to leave earlier.

“Let’s enjoy the week ahead!” he added.

In response, a BBC spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “Ken decided to leave Radio 2 and it’s always been known he’s leaving in March. Returning to Wogan House for a week after a month of broadcasting the Piano Room sessions at Maida Vale provided a natural break.

“We wish Ken all the best for the future.”

Ken announced he was leaving the BBC in January, which was followed by the news he will be moving to the Bauer station Greatest Hits Radio in April to present a brand new mid-morning show from 10am to 1pm.

On Friday, it was announced Vernon Kay will take over as the host of the mid-morning slot on Radio 2, but will not launch his new show until May.

Vernon Kay will replace Ken in May
Vernon Kay will replace Ken in May
Comic Relief via Getty Images

“I’m absolutely over the moon to be handed the microphone to present the mid-morning show on Radio 2, and what an honour to follow in the footsteps of the mighty Ken Bruce,” Vernon said of his new role on Friday afternoon.

“It’s a dream come true to join the Radio 2 family and I can’t wait to start.”

The 48-year-old also presented his own BBC Radio 1 show between 2004 and 2012, and another on Radio X between 2015 and 2017.

The BBC previously dismissed reports that Ken made the decision to leave Radio 2 due to concerns about ageism at the station.

The Sun published an article alleging that the 71-year-old had grown “concerned by the corporation’s drive for younger talent” prior to his exit.

In a statement issued to HuffPost UK, a BBC spokesperson said Radio 2 “is hugely proud of having a range of presenters from their 30s to 80 years old on the station”, pointing out it was “an age range which hasn’t changed in decades”.

“Radio 2 will continue to be a multi-generational radio station that serves a 35+ audience with listeners tuning in each week to our brilliant range of programmes, hosted by some of the UK’s best loved presenters,” they said.


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