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Ken Bruce to leave BBC Radio 2 for Bauer’s Greatest Hits Radio

By | Published on Wednesday 18 January 2023

Ken Bruce, Greatest Hits Radio

Ken Bruce announced on his long-running Radio 2 show yesterday morning that he will leave the BBC in March. He is then set to begin presenting a new show on Bauer’s Greatest Hits Radio just days later.

“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”, he told listeners. “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”.

Bruce began his BBC career at BBC Radio Scotland in 1978, presenting a number of shows for the station into the early 80s. He first joined Radio 2 in 1980, taking over the breakfast show from Terry Wogan in 1985.

He initially moved into the mid-morning slot the following year and then subsequently onto a night time show, before returning to mid-mornings in 1992, where he stayed for the next three decades.

In a statement yesterday, Director of BBC Music Lorna Clarke 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”.

With fans’ heads still spinning from this unexpected news and wondering when Bruce’s promise of details about his next career move would be forthcoming, Greatest Hits Radio almost immediately announced that the presenter will be taking over its mid-morning show from 3 Apr.

Commenting on that news, Bruce said “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 [long-running quiz] 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!”

Bauer Audio UK’s Chief Content & Music Officer Ben Cooper commented: “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”.

The news of Bruce’s move into commercial radio follows the announcement last week that several Bauer-owned local radio stations in Scotland are to rebrand as Greatest Hits Radio in April, just as the new presenter arrives.