Ken Bruce is leaving BBC Radio 2 after almost four decades.
Based on RAJAR figures, he can claim to be the nation’s most popular broadcaster. Ken Bruce first joined Radio 2 in 1984 and he has presented the mid-morning show since January 1992.
Ken Bruce has already confirmed a move to Bauer Audio UK’s Greatest Hits Radio, where he will host a new mid-morning show. The popular music quiz PopMaster will be part of the new show on the commercial radio station.
The Radio 2 show has been a key platform for music and artists, including the Piano Room performance slot. Radio 2 has announced a month-long Piano Room series for February, which will feature artists including Ellie Goulding, Raye, Freya Ridings, Pink, Suede and Stormzy.
The Radio 2 show’s most recent weekly reach was 8.56 million, according to the RAJAR Q3 2022 results, putting Bruce ahead of Radio 2 Breakfast presenter Zoe Ball (7.37m).
Radio 2 controller Helen Thomas has overseen schedule changes at Radio 2, which is the country’s most popular station with 14.46m listeners. Bruce’s exit, scheduled for March, follows the departure of Steve Wright from the afternoon show last year.
Ken 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... 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.”
Lorna Clarke, director, BBC Music, said: “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.”
Bruce has also presented Radio 2’s Eurovision coverage since 1988.
Radio 2 will announce the host and details of the new mid-morning show at a later date.
From April 3, Ken Bruce will present a mid-morning show (10am-1pm) on Greatest Hits Radio, across the entire UK network. He takes over from Mark Goodier.
Ben Cooper, chief content & music officer, 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.”
Ken Bruce added: “What better way to celebrate my 45 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!’
Playing the biggest songs from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, Greatest Hits Radio features iconic artists including Blondie, Queen, George Michael, Madonna, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, Elton John and Whitney Houston.
It is home to presenters including former Radio 2 presenter Simon Mayo, Martin Kemp, Pat Sharp, Kate Thornton, Paul Gambaccini, Andy Crane and Jenny Powell.