Ken Bruce: I stayed too long at Radio 2, I should have left sooner

The 72-year-old radio DJ chose to retire from his weekday morning show after 31 years but now says he wishes he'd done it sooner.

Ken Bruce
Ken Bruce has said he wishes he'd left the BBC sooner. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Ken Bruce has said he wishes he had left BBC Radio 2 sooner than he did.

The 72-year-old radio DJ chose to retire from his weekday morning show after 31 years with the BBC and at the beginning of April made a triumphant debut on Greatest Hits Radio.

Bruce has now told fellow former Radio 2 DJ Alan Titchmarsh on his ITV chat show Love Your Weekend: "If I look back, I think I stayed too long there. That's the over-riding feeling I have.

Read more: Ken Bruce sets record straight on BBC exit

"Maybe I should have done this sooner, as it does refresh and re-energise you.

"I am feeling like this is a new chapter, I'm trying to climb again, not decline.

Ken Bruce is a host at Greatest Hits Radio. (Bauer Media)
Ken Bruce now hosts a show on Greatest Hits Radio. (Bauer Media)

"I'm sorry to be leaving Radio 2 but I had been there a long time. Sometimes you feel it is time to move. I wanted to try something else while I am young and alive enough!"

The PopMaster quiz host announced on Friday 24 February and revealed his final episode will be Friday 3 March, just one week later.

His departure was "sped up" by bosses so his final show aired a month before his contract ended.

He told Titchmarsh: "These things are never as tidy as you want.

"By and large it was okay, but towards the end there was this little dispute about finishing dates. It was disappointing but it has passed now, it doesn't matter. The new job has started."

Vernon Kay hosts on stage at day 1 of Radio 1's Big Weekend at Lydiard Country Park on May 9, 2009 in Swindon, England. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)
Vernon Kay will take over Ken Bruce's slot on BBC Radio 2 in May. (Getty Images)

Bruce is to be replaced on Radio 2 by Vernon Kay and has taken his music trivia quiz PopMaster with him to Greatest Hits Radio.

Temporary replacement DJ Gary Davies launched new quiz Ten To The Top following his departure, which has fallen flat with fans.

Kay will take over mid-mornings on BBC Radio 2 in May.

Bruce 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.

Read more: Ken Bruce signs off Radio 2 for the final time

His departure from Radio 2 comes amid a huge shake-up of the channel which has seen many older DJs leave, including Vanessa Feltz, Steve Wright, the late Paul O'Grady and Craig Charles, while Tony Blackburn's show has been moved from Friday to Sunday.

Watch: Ken Bruce admits struggle to adjust to new time slot after moving radio stations