Ken Bruce on leaving BBC Radio 2
Sara Cox has defended BBC Radio 2’s decision to replace long standing DJ Ken Bruce with Vernon Kay after 45 years of service from the veteran DJ.
Speaking to Woman & Home magazine, the 48-year-old broadcaster explained how ”people move on and get replaced”.
“[In radio] people move on and get replaced,” she said. “When change happens, it feels really big in the moment and within days, you’re like, ‘It’s fine. It’s still Radio 2.’
“Ken [Bruce] going was a bit of a shocker,” she admitted. “Then Vernon [Kay] started and within three links he sounded at home.
“Also, don’t forget, Vernon’s a good-looking lad, but he’s not 21, arriving with his cap on backwards, on a skateboard.
“He’s knocking 50 and he’s greying beautifully. He’s older than Ken was when he started. It may feel like [Radio 2] is getting in all these young ’uns, but we’ve still got all the legends on there,” she said.
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Despite her remarks Ken has admitted his “disappointment” over the way BBC dealt with his exit but he politely left the show without calling out the broadcaster.
He later claimed that his decades of diligent service for the BBC made him an “afterthought” for bosses and said that he believed he was taken for granted.
The 72-year-old opened up in an interview with Radio Times just before he started his new gig with Greatest Hits Radio.
Speaking about being put on gardening leave for the last three weeks of his show, he said: “I’m a little bit disappointed by that, I have to say.
“Because I thought that, after 45 years, I could be trusted to do the right thing for the next few weeks.”
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“But obviously it’s up to them. It’s their choice,” he added.
His first three months on Greatest Hits was a success where he attracted just below three million listeners and in the aftermath of his exit Radio 2 lost a million listeners.
Ken’s success on the radio show meant that he pulled in 1.25 million more listeners than the show’s previous host Mark Goodier.
However, despite the impressive figures it is a much lower audience than what he was pulling in on Radio 2, where his was the most popular radio programme in the UK.
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