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Vernon Kay snub as 90% say they wont tune in without Ken Bruce

Ken Bruce says there's no 'hidden agendas' in his final show

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Radio DJ Ken Bruce hosted his final BBC Radio 2 mid-morning show on Friday, after 31 years. A new poll has shown that a staggering 90 percent will not listen to his replacement Vernon Kay.

The Scottish broadcaster has worked for the BBC for the last 46 years and told listeners: “I have loved being here with you. Thanks so much and may we meet again somewhere.”

Mr Bruce will start hosting a new show, featuring his legendary PopMaster quiz,  from 10am to 1pm on the commercial station Greatest Hits Radio on April 3. He promises to deliver “me and my musings and all the great records you know and love from the 70s, 80s and 90s”.

The 72-year-old had been due to complete his contract with the BBC but his final show was moved forward by the public broadcaster by a few weeks. 

He told BBC 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.”

The BBC said: “Ken decided to leave Radio 2 and it’s always been known he’s leaving in March. Returning to Wogan House [the station’s headquarters] 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.”

His BBC show will be taken over by Gary Davies before his permanent replacement Mr Kay starts in May.

Radio 2 boss, Helen Thomas said: “Radio 2 is home to some of the UK’s best-loved presenters, and I’m thrilled to welcome Vernon to mid-mornings on Radio 2. 

“He’s a hugely talented, warm and witty host, who has already proved himself to be a firm favourite with our listeners when he’s presented many and varied shows across the station. I can’t wait to hear his brilliant new show.”

In a poll that ran from 1pm on Friday, March 3, to 1pm on Monday, March 6, asked readers: “Will you listen to Ken Bruce’s replacement Vernon Kay on BBC Radio 2?”

A total of 3,785 votes were cast, with the overwhelming majority, 90 percent (3,394 people) answering “no” they will not listen to Mr Kay.

In contrast, seven percent (278 people) said “yes” they would, and a further three percent (113 people) said they did not know.

In the comments left below the accompanying article readers discussed whether they would continue listening to Radio 2.

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The overall response from readers was against listening to BBC Radio 2’s mid-morning show with Mr Kay. Username muttlyoo7 simply wrote: “No.”

Similarly, username pugli remarked: “Not for a nanosecond!”

Another, username Apache5173 said: “Absolutely no chance, will be finding another radio station to listen to after Zoe Ball.”

And username jaque said: “[Ken Bruce] will be on Greatest Hits Radio so why bother with Radio 2.”

Mr Bruce announced in January that he would be leaving the public broadcaster after over four decades. He joined BBC Radio Scotland in 1978 before becoming a regular host of Radio 2 in 1984.

He has presented a morning show on the station since 1986, with a two-year break in the early 1990s, taking on the mid-morning show when he returned in 1992.

Mr Bruce is one of several broadcasters to leave BBC Radio 2 in recent years including Simon Mayo, Paul O’Grady, Vanessa Feltz, Graham Norton and Chris Evans.

He said in January, following the announcement of his departure: “I really must stress that this is entirely my decision. However, some new opportunities have come up and I would like to continue my career in just a slightly different way if that is possible in the next few years.”

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