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Ken Bruce is leaving BBC Radio 2 for Greatest Hits Radio after 31 years presenting mid-morning show

Ken Bruce
Ken Bruce

Veteran radio presenter Ken Bruce has announced he’s stepping back from his Radio 2 morning show after 31 years to join commercial station Greatest Hits Radio.

The broadcaster, born in Glasgow, said he’d had a “tremendously happy time” hosting the 9:30am to 12pm slot but that it was “time for a change” at the end of his BBC contract.

He announced his departure at the end of his show on Tuesday morning, with a follow-up statement issued by the BBC.

Shortly afterwards, Greatest Hits Radio revealed that the 71-year-old would be joining them in April, and bringing the popular PopMaster music quiz with him.

Bruce said of his departure from the BBC: “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.

“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 joined the BBC in 1977 as a staff presenter with Radio Scotland and then appeared on various shows on Radio 2 in the 1980s. He has hosted his current show since 1992, presiding over popular features including the famous PopMaster and Tracks of My Years.

His departure is the latest change to the station’s daytime line-up, with fellow veteran Steve Wright ending his afternoon show last year.

He was replaced by Scott Mills, with Sara Cox also taking an hour of the slot in addition to her previous show.

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’s move will coincide with the amalgamation of Bauer Scotland’s stations Clyde 2, Forth 2, MFR 2, Northsound 2, Tay 2, West Sound in Ayrshire, and West Sound in Dumfries & Galloway into Greatest Hits Radio across Scotland.

On joining the new station, Bruce said: “What better way to celebrate my forty-five 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!”

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.”