Rylan Clark has paid tribute to broadcasting icon Ken Bruce, after the long-standing BBC Radio 2 DJ announced his departure after more than 30 years at the station.

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As the voice of Eurovision on Radio 2 for years, Bruce's exit has meant that there's a new opening for his slot on the airwaves, so would Rylan be interested in taking over the coveted role?

Speaking in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, Rylan said: "To me, Ken is Radio 2. He’s just... he’s Ken Bruce! And for me, you know, Radio 2 Eurovision just is Ken Bruce.

"It’s gutting that he’s leaving, but everyone comes to a decision at some point where sometimes you want to walk away from something you love.

"I do know that I’ll still be doing my show live from Eurovision like I always do on a Saturday afternoon, going, 'Quick, there’s Conchita [Austria’s 2014 winner], grab ’er!'"

At the time of Bruce's announcement, Clark – who hosts a Radio 2 show on Saturdays – wrote on Twitter: "Going to be so missed on air, but personally I'll miss having a beer in a foreign country discussing anything and everything whilst at Eurovision. Thanks for always being so lovely."

With the Eurovision 2023 Handover and Allocation Draw fast approaching at the end of this January, all eyes are on Liverpool and co-hosts Rylan and AJ Odudu.

Rylan Clark and AJ Odudu, the presenters of Eurovision 2023.
Eurovision 2023 presenters Rylan Clark and AJ Odudu. BBC

Although the Song Contest's final airs in May, this month's live event is no small feat and will determine which semi-final each of the 37 countries will take part in, plus who the “Big Five” countries (Spain, UK, France, Germany and Italy) will get to vote for.

It will also see the mayor of 2022’s host city, Turin, handing over the official keys of the Eurovision Song Contest, known as the Insignia, to the mayor of Liverpool. Plus, the unique look and slogan of the 2023 contest will also be unveiled.

But, of course, while UK fans are excited over the fact that the competition is taking place on home turf for the first time in 25 years, it shouldn't be forgotten that it has been asked to do so because of the ongoing war in Ukraine – the winners of last year's Eurovision.

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Speaking about the UK's role, Rylan told Radio Times that he sees it "as an honour".

He said: "It’s absolutely terrible what’s going on out in Ukraine. I’m just grateful that we’re able to sort of throw Ukraine’s party over here in the UK, giving them the celebration they deserve."

Read more: Rylan Clark on hosting Eurovision 2023: “I don’t need to prepare”

The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest Handover and Allocation Draw will air on the BBC on Tuesday 31st January – listen to all of last year's Eurovision songs on TIDAL, while the full album of Eurovision 2022 tracks is available on CD and vinyl now.

You can also check out the full list of Eurovision winners and how many times the UK has won Eurovision here. If you're looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide.

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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 View From My Sofa podcast.

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