Vernon Kay will take over from Ken Bruce on Radio 2, BBC confirms

Vernon Kay (PA Archive)
Vernon Kay (PA Archive)

Vernon Kay will replace Ken Bruce on his BBC Radio 2 mid-morning weekday show from May, the BBC has said.

The broadcaster confirmed the move on Friday afternoon after widespread speculation that Kay was the front-runner to replace Bruce.

Bruce announced last month that he would be leaving the station after 31 years in the role.

In a statement, Kay said: “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.

“I look forward to playing some of the best music in the world whilst in the company of the Radio 2 listeners who I feel I’ve got to know over the last 18 months.

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

Kay is known for presenting ITV’s All Star Family Fortunes, and has previously had his own shows on Radio 1 and Radio X, alongside presenting Radio 2’s Dance Sounds of the 90s.

DJ Gary Davies will fill the gap between Bruce’s departure on 3 March, and Kay’s first show in May, the BBC said.

The programme, famous for its ‘Popmaster’ quiz, has more than 8.5 million weekly listeners, according to data from industry body Rajar.

However, the Popmaster format will be taken with Bruce in the move to rival radio station, Greatest Hits Radio. He will present a brand new mid-morning show from 10am to 1pm on the station.

Bruce told BBC News: “Vernon is a lovely bloke and I wish him all the best.”

He added that he “wouldn’t dare give anyone else tips about broadcasting".

The 72-year-old said upon announcing his departure that he would “always be proud” of his association with the BBC and Radio 2, but that he wanted to continue his career “in a slightly different way in the next few years”.