Ken Bruce had intended to fulfil contract with Radio 2 but the BBC ‘wanted him to leave earlier’


Ken Bruce was only meant to step down later in March (Picture: PA)

Ken Bruce said he had intended to fulfil his contract with Radio 2, but claims the BBC wanted him off air sooner.

It was announced on Friday (February 24) that Vernon Kay will take over from Bruce in May, following the announcement last month that the Scottish broadcasting veteran would be stepping down from presenting his mid-morning show after 31 years.

Bruce will present his final 9.30am to midday show on March 3, the BBC confirmed.

However, his contract was initially due to finish at the end of March.

Bruce has said that the broadcaster actually ‘decided it wants me to leave earlier’.

‘I will be presenting my last show on Radio 2 next Friday,’ he tweeted.

Ken Bruce

Bruce will be replaced by Vernon Kay on Radio 2 (Picture: J Hogan/Getty Images)

‘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!’

Bruce, 72, announced he was leaving the BBC in January before confirming he would be moving to Bauer’s Greatest Hits Radio in April to present a brand new mid-morning show from 10am to 1pm.

The radio DJ, who started at the BBC in his early 30s, said 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’.

His departure follows a number of high-profile exits 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.

Mills 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.

Vernon Kay

Kay said he’s ‘over the moon’ to be following in the broadcaster’s footsteps (Picture: Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock)

Paul O’Grady also quit his Radio 2 Sunday afternoon show, which he had 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.

Meanwhile, former All Star Family Fortunes host Kay said he is ‘absolutely over the moon’ to be following in the ‘mighty’ footsteps of 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,’ he said.

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.

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

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.

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