The Radio 2 presenter and broadcaster Ken Bruce will be headed to Perth this bank holiday weekend, as he presents BBC Music’s The Biggest Weekend. Here, he talks success, TV habits – and meeting his wife at Eurovision.
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Tell me about your sofa…
Years ago I bought a large sevenseat, chocolate-brown corner sofa on a whim (it was on offer!). It’s a bit tattered now, but to remove it I’d have to demolish a wall, so there it stays. It tends to be full of children and dogs, so I got myself a little armchair, and I have first dibs on that. The telly is in one corner, and on the other side of the fireplace is the “trophy” cabinet, which includes my Ready Steady Cook plate, Celebrity Mastermind trophy and two others for shows yet to air, so not a word!
What shows can’t you miss?
I keep up with Coronation Street, and Harry Hill never fails to make me laugh. And I find the Gogglebox stars funny – Tommy Malone is one of my favourites. And those reunion shows tend to make me remove my glasses to take something out of my eye…
You met your wife at the Eurovision Song Contest – how does it feel sharing an anniversary with the event?
Kerith and I met at Eurovision 98 in Birmingham and it probably has given me a warmer feeling about the contest, and kept me coming back, despite the UK’s poor showings. It must be a little like childbirth: you forget the pain by the time the next one is due. But I do love it really and I’ll be in Israel next year, all being well.
Who is your favourite person to watch TV with?
My wife and I watch together and comment and laugh at the same things. However, somehow the two youngest [Verity and Charlie] always seem to find the remote before we can, so we often end up watching, and complaining about, terrible American teen dramas or screechy kids’ comedies.
Do you eat in front of the telly?
I love eating while watching TV – and having the odd drink. The more high-quality the programme, the less I seem to need to consume. At the bottom end of the televisual scale, give me a pepperoni pizza or chicken wings and wedges, washed down by a beer or a glass of wine, and I’ll watch any old rubbish.
Who’s the greatest broadcaster you’ve worked with?
Sir Terry Wogan. He could do anything on TV or radio and make it look effortless, but he put in a lot of work to make it appear so. I love the (few) presenters who inspire utter confidence as a viewer – Eamonn Holmes is like that, nothing fazes him. And Mel Giedroyc is also really engaging.
Do you feel at home in the modern digital age?
I’m pretty comfortable with it. We got a Sky box a few years ago because our TV signal was so bad, only to discover a few months later that a contractor had cut through the aerial cable, and, once restored, we had a perfect signal and didn’t need the box. But by then all the kids’ stations had been discovered and there was no going back.
What would you have been if not a radio presenter?
Lost to society.
Ken Bruce will be presenting from Perth over BBC Music’s The Biggest Weekend, 25—28 May, Radio 1, 2, 3 and 6