Ken Bruce announces move from BBC Radio 2 to Greatest Hits Radio later this year

Ken Bruce will join Greatest Hits Radio later this year after it was announced he is leaving his mid-morning weekday slot on BBC Radio 2 after 31 years.

During his BBC show on Tuesday, the Scottish broadcaster announced he would be departing his 9.30am – midday slot in March.

This news was shortly followed by the confirmation the 71-year-old will be moving to the Bauer radio station in April to present a brand new mid-morning show from 10am to 1pm.

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On leaving BBC Radio 2, Bruce said: “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. 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.”

The radio DJ first joined the corporation in 1977 as a BBC Radio Scotland presenter and his first regular slot on Radio 2 was the Saturday Late Show in 1984.

The following year he fronted the Radio 2 Breakfast Show, taking over from Sir Terry Wogan.

Ken Bruce
Ken Bruce (BBC)

He later moved to mid-mornings in 1986 and after a brief stint on late nights and early mornings, he returned to mid-mornings in January 1992.

Bruce has also presented Radio 2’s coverage of Eurovision since 1988, and has been a regular presenter of Sunday Night is Music Night.

His Radio 2 show is famous for a number of segments including PopMaster, a quiz to test music knowledge which has run for 25 years, Tracks of My Years, where a famous person chooses their favourite records and more recently, The Piano Room, featuring live music from a range of great artists.

Lorna Clarke, director of BBC Music, added: “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.”

BBC Radio 2 has said it will announce the host and details of the new mid-morning show at a later date.

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Bruce will now move to Bauer radio station alongside a line-up which includes presenters Simon Mayo at Drivetime and Jackie Brambles in the early evening.

He said: “What better way to celebrate my forty-five years in radio than with a new adventure and a brand-new show on Greatest Hits Radio. I say brand-new but there will still be PopMaster, me and my musings and all the great records you know and love from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

“I’m looking forward to getting started and to you joining me for my very first show. See you in April!”

Ben Cooper, chief content and music officer at Bauer Audio UK, said: “Ken Bruce is a broadcasting legend, with the biggest radio show in the UK, so as well as today being an exciting announcement for Greatest Hits Radio and its growing audience, it is a hugely significant moment for the industry.

“What a fantastic start to a great year of increased ambition and innovation for Bauer Media Audio.”

This move follows a number of high-profile departures and reshuffling at BBC Radio recently, including Scott Mills leaving BBC Radio 1 after 24 years at the network to join Radio 2 for a new weekday show.

The radio DJ took over the 2-4pm slot from presenter Steve Wright, who stepped down from his afternoon show at the end of September after 23 years.

Wright continues to present his Radio 2 Sunday Love Songs programme as well as specials on the station.

Paul O’Grady also quit his Radio 2 Sunday afternoon show, which he presented for around 14 years, because he was not happy with a schedule shake-up which saw him share the slot with comic Rob Beckett.