Ken Bruce has opened up about his choice to leave the BBC, a contentious decision that has garnered much attention since it was first announced earlier this year.


Appearing on Sunday evening's episode of Alan Titchmarsh's Love Your Weekend, the veteran broadcaster stated that he felt parts of his exit were "disappointingly" handed by BBC bosses after 31 years of being at the helm of BBC Radio 2's mid-morning weekday show.

He told Titchmarsh on the ITV show: "The new job has started and I'm really enjoying it. If I look back, I think I stayed too long there [the BBC]. That's the overriding feeling I have.

"Maybe I should have done this sooner, as it does refresh and re-energise you."

Bruce added: "I am feeling like this is a new chapter, I'm trying to climb again, not decline. I'm sorry to be leaving Radio 2 but I had been there a long time. Sometimes you feel it is time to move. I wanted to try something else while I am young and alive enough!"

When asked by Titchmarsh whether he felt satisfied with how his exit was handled, Bruce said: "These things are never as tidy as you want.

"By and large it was OK, but towards the end there was this little dispute about finishing dates. It was disappointing but it has passed now, it doesn't matter. The new job has started."

Bruce's last BBC Radio 2 show aired on Friday 3rd March, some weeks earlier than planned as he was originally intending to continue presenting until the end of March.

At the time of his last show, he spoke on Radio 4's Today programme, saying: "It’s entirely within the BBC’s right to ask me to step away a little early. And gardening leave is a known concept in broadcasting and in many other areas."

Read more:

Bruce has now made the move to Greatest Hits and is also bringing his beloved music quiz PopMaster to the screen, after being commissioned by More4. Speaking to Radio Times magazine for the recent Easter issue, Bruce spoke about his move and the reasoning behind it, underlining that it was as a result of being with the BBC for so long.

He said: "One of the reasons I went is because, having done the show for quite a long time, and with it being the highest-rated programme in Europe for four years, I thought, 'What’s to achieve? What’s left? What mountains are left to climb in this particular place?'

"And I thought, 'Not really very much.' I didn’t want to go into a slow decline, and have people all looking around and saying, 'When is he going to leave?' I wanted to go rather than hear that."

Bruce also revealed more about feeling under-appreciated in his long-standing role, saying: "Well, this is going back a few years, but there were times when all the publicity was about other presenters, people who were off the telly, and I wasn’t mentioned at all. I was just an afterthought.

"And I thought, 'Well, I just want to make these people realise that I’m doing quite a good job.' There was a certain amount of, 'Oi, I’m over here!'"

Gary Davies has stepped in to temporarily replace Bruce, with Vernon Kay confirmed to take over Bruce's former BBC Radio 2 slot later this year.

Visit our TV Guide, Radio Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 12 issues for only £1 with delivery to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.