After 31 years in the mid-morning slot at BBC Radio 2, Ken Bruce will today leave his role at the broadcaster, having announced his decision to step down in January.

While it was first thought that Bruce would be leaving when his current contract ended in March, he revealed at the end of February that the BBC had decided it wanted him to leave earlier, finishing his run on the station today (Friday 3rd March).

Now, Bruce has reacted to this decision, calling it a "shame" that he has had to leave earlier than he planned.

Speaking on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning, Bruce said: "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.

"But for the sake of 17 days, which was all that was remaining, I would have finished on the 24th anyway. So it seems a shame, but you know, you just adapt your timetable. Instead of three weeks it's one week and that's been fine."

When pushed about whether he would have "loved to have stayed", Bruce said: "Well, my belief is that when I’m given a contract, I work to it and complete it, and I haven't over the last 46 years had very much time off ever. And so I've tried, attempted to turn up whenever I'm required to turn up.

"So my natural feeling as a broadcaster is to, you know, if I've got 17 days to do, I want to do them."

When previously approached for comment by about the change of Bruce's departure date, a BBC Radio 2 spokesperson said: "Ken decided to leave Radio 2 and it’s always been known he’s leaving in March.

"Returning to Wogan House for a week after a month of broadcasting the Piano Room sessions at Maida Vale provided a natural break. We wish Ken all the best for the future."

Bruce will be joining Bauer’s Greatest Hits Radio in April to present a new mid-morning show from 10am to 1pm. Meanwhile, it was recently announced that Vernon Kay would be replacing Bruce in the Radio 2 slot.

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