Ken Bruce opens last BBC Radio 2 show after receiving thank-you cards from fans

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Radio DJ Ken Bruce has opened his last BBC Radio 2 show after more than 40 years at the corporation.

The 72-year-old Scottish presenter – who has regularly presented his mid-morning programme from 9.30am to midday for more than 30 years – has had his last handover from The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show.

He previously revealed on Twitter he was a “little surprised and disappointed” that his final show was brought forward to Friday by the BBC.

During his handover, Bruce received messages of thanks from fans who left voice notes for the DJ wishing him well on the future.

Bruce was also pictured surrounded by cards from well-wishers in the Radio 2 studio on his last day.

He told listeners when opening the show to not “expect hidden messages” in the songs he plays.

On Friday, Bruce told Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s entirely within the BBC’s right to ask me to step away a little early.

“But for the sake of 17 days, which was all that was remaining (on my contract), it seems a shame.”

Vernon Kaye on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show
Bruce’s slot is due to be taken over by TV presenter Vernon Kay in May, on a date yet to be announced (James Watkins/BBC Radio 2)

His first regular slot on Radio 2 was the Saturday Late Show in 1984, and the following year he fronted the Radio 2 Breakfast Show, taking over from Sir Terry Wogan.

Bruce later moved to mid-mornings in 1986 and after a brief stint on late nights and early mornings, returned to mid-mornings in January 1992.

The presenter will be moving to Bauer’s Greatest Hits Radio in April to present a new mid-morning show from 10am to 1pm.

Bruce also told Radio 4 he understood “gardening leave is a known concept” but he believes when “given a contract”, you work to finish it.

He added: “Over the last 46 years, I haven’t had very much time off, I’ve attempted to turn up whenever I’m required to turn up.

“So my natural feeling as a broadcaster is if I’ve got 17 days to do, I want to do them.”

He earlier told the Daily Mail newspaper that he “wasn’t given any real reason that I understood” by the BBC for the decision to move his final programme.

Ken Bruce leaves BBC Radio 2
Bruce will join Greatest Hits Radio later this year after it was announced he is leaving his mid-morning weekday slot on BBC Radio 2 after 31 years (Bauer Media)

“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.”

Prior to his departure, Bruce also said that he would “always be proud” of his association with the BBC and Radio 2, but that he wanted to continue his career “in a slightly different way in the next few years”.

Last week, the BBC announced that TV presenter Vernon Kay will take over Bruce’s Radio 2 slot on a date yet to be announced.

Gary Davies, host of the station’s Sounds Of The 80s, will present the mid-morning show from March 6 until Kay takes over the helm, the BBC said.

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