Vernon Kay confirmed as Ken Bruce replacement on BBC Radio 2: ‘What an honour’


Vernon Kay is replacing Ken Bruce (Picture: Rex)

Vernon Kay has joined BBC Radio 2 after the station confirmed him as Ken Bruce’s replacement on the morning show.

The 48-year-old presenter – who first joined the BBC in 2004 and started hosting on Radio 2 in 2021 – had emerged as a contender to replace the veteran broadcaster and he has described the appointment as ‘a dream come true’.

In a statement, he 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.

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

Bruce will present his final 9.30am to midday show on March 3, the BBC confirmed on Friday, while Kay will start on May 8 after Gary Davies covers in the meantime.

The DJ will usher in Radio 2’s new weekday pop quiz to replace Bruce’s popular PopMaster format as well as continuing his own radio show which he has fronted since 2018.

It follows a career which has seen Kay front various shows on Channel 4’s T4 as well as ITV programmes including All Star Family Fortunes, Just The Two Of Us, and Beat The Star.

AYLESBURY, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: Vernon Kay attends The Lady Garden Foundation's Waddesdon Lunch hosted by Lord Rothschild at Waddesdon Manor, on March 22, 2022 in Aylesbury, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Vernon will take over in May (Picture: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Vernon and his wife Tess Daly are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary this year (Picture: Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Helen Thomas, head of Radio 2, said: ‘Radio 2 is home to some of the UK’s best-loved presenters, and I’m thrilled to welcome Vernon to mid-mornings on Radio 2.

‘He’s a hugely talented, warm and witty host who has already proved himself to be a firm favourite with our listeners when he’s presented many and varied shows across the station. I can’t wait to hear his brilliant new show.’

Revealing the news to listeners moments after the BBC made the announcement, Scott Mills said: ‘I am thrilled! I’ve known Vern, obviously, for years – so have you! You’ve heard him loads on Radio 2 already and he is gonna be brilliant.’

Ken Bruce announced his departure earlier this year (Picture: Mike Lawn/Shutterstock)

He added: ‘Welcome along, Vernon, to the daytime family! We cannot wait to have you here in Wogan House every day.’

Bruce, 72, announced earlier this year that he would be departing the BBC after first joining them in 1986, and will be moving to Greatest Hits Radio instead.

Confirming the news, he 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.’

He continued: ‘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.’

It’s not the end of Bruce’s broadcasting career, however, as he’ll be joining Greatest Hits Radio in their 10am-1pm starting on April 3.

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MORE : Vernon Kay fiercely defended after BBC Radio 2 listeners slam him over Ken Bruce ‘replacement’

MORE : Ken Bruce quits BBC Radio 2 after 31 years – but don’t worry, he’s taking PopMaster with him

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