‘It’s time for a change’: Ken Bruce announces departure from BBC radio after 45 years

Ken Bruce has announced his departure from the BBC after 45 years.

Bruce, 71, has been a presenter on BBC Radio 2 since 1984, but has now decided to step down after 39 years, it has been announced. In total, he has spent 45 years working at the BBC.

The DJ, who has hosted the 9:30am to 12pm weekday show since 1990, announced the news on Tuesday (17 January), stating: “After 45 years of broadcasting on BBC Radio, it’s time for a change.”

He added: “I would stress that this is entirely my decision. I will always be very proud of my association with the BBC and Radio 2.”

Bruce, who said “the time was right” to quit, has now joined the team at Greatest Hits, where he will begin working in April.

He will present a show from 10am to 1pm on the Bauer radio station, alongside presenters including Simon Mayo at Drivetime and Jackie Brambles in the early evening.

“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,” Bruce said.

“It’s been a tremendously happy time for me. I’ve made many friends and worked with many wonderful colleagues.”

He continued: “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.”

Bruce also thanked “everyone who has helped to make the mid-morning show a success”.

Ken Bruce said it was ‘the right time’ to leave the BBC (Mike Lawn/Shutterstock)
Ken Bruce said it was ‘the right time’ to leave the BBC (Mike Lawn/Shutterstock)

The DJ described his new job with Greatest Hits as “a new adventure”.

He assured his long-time listeners about the fate of his beloved quiz PopMaster, and said that his “musings” and “all the great records you know and love from the 70s, 80s and 90s” will remain a part of his new show.

“I’m looking forward to getting started and to you joining me for my very first show,” he said.

BBC Radio 2’s official Twitter account said of Bruce’s decision: “We have some news… After 31 years of presenting the 9:30am-midday weekday show Ken Bruce has decided to leave.

“We’re going to miss you lots Ken and want to congratulate you on a fantastic career at the BBC.”

Ben Cooper, chief content and music officer at 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.”

Bruce first joined the BBC in 1977 as a presenter on BBC Radio Scotland. He first joined Radio 2 in 1984 and, in 1985, succeeded Sir Terry Wogan as the host of the Radio 2 Breakfast Show.

Ken Bruce succeeded Sir Terry Wogan as host of the Radio 2 Breakfast Show in 1985 (Bill Cross/ANL/Shutterstock)
Ken Bruce succeeded Sir Terry Wogan as host of the Radio 2 Breakfast Show in 1985 (Bill Cross/ANL/Shutterstock)

It is unknown who will replace Bruce at this time, but the BBC said it will make an announcement “at a later date”.