The broadcaster Ken Bruce is to leave the BBC after more than four decades – 31 of those years spent presenting his morning show on Radio 2.
Bruce will join the Bauer station Greatest Hits Radio in April, where he will present a new mid-morning show in the 10am to 1pm slot. The broadcaster revealed the news himself on his BBC show on Tuesday morning.
“Nothing stays the same for ever 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 said, in comments released later by the BBC.
“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.”
The radio DJ first joined the BBC in 1977 as a Radio Scotland presenter. 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 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.
His Radio 2 show is famous for a number of segments including PopMaster, a quiz to test music knowledge which has run for 25 years, Tracks of My Years, where a famous person chooses their favourite records, and more recently, The Piano Room, featuring live music from a range of artists.
His departure will be the latest reshuffle of BBC Radio’s high-profile figures. Scott Mills left Radio 1 after 24 years to join Radio 2 for a new weekday show. The radio DJ 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. Paul O’Grady also quit his Radio 2 Sunday afternoon show, which he presented for about 14 years, because he was not happy with a schedule shake-up that left him sharing the slot with the comic Rob Beckett.
Lorna Clarke, the director of 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.”
BBC Radio 2 has said it will announce the host and details of the new mid-morning show at a later date.