‘A beautiful man’: Rylan and Nick Grimshaw lead reactions to Ken Bruce’s BBC departure

Star broadcasters Rylan and Nick Grimshaw are among the first to react to the news that Ken Bruce is leaving his BBC Radio 2 show after 31 years.

Bruce said “the time is right” for him to move from the station, after presenting the mid-morning weekday show for more than three decades.

The 71-year-old, who is leaving in March, joined the corporation in 1977 as a BBC Radio Scotland presenter 45 years ago. 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.

Bruce 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.

“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.”

Reacting to the news, Rylan – who has a Saturday afternoon show at the station – wrote on Twitter: “Ken Bruce. A beautiful man who’s always been so lovely to me at @BBCRadio2. Going to be so missed on air, but personally I’ll miss having a beer in a foreign country discussing anything and everything whilst at Eurovision. Thanks for always being so lovely.”

Grimshaw, who used to host the Breakfast Show on Radio 1, was more emphatic. “NOOOOO KENNNNNN!” he tweeted.

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TV and radio presenter Tina Daheley added: “The broadcasting legend that is [Ken Bruce] is leaving R2. What a phenomenal run. I was honestly more nervous doing a two-min trail in his show when I first started depping for Jeremy Vine than doing the actual show because he is such an icon. One of the classiest in the business.”

Trevor Nelson, who has shows on Radio 2 and 1Xtra, wrote: “Wow Ken Bruce is leaving Radio 2. He has just announced on his show. Totally his own decision. What a legend and what a run. Massive respect.”

Radio 2’s Owain Wyn Evans posted: “Ken Bruce – a legend.”

Bruce has now joined the team at Greatest Hits, where he will begin working in April.

Radio 2 will announce the host and details of the new mid-morning show at a later date.