Legendary broadcaster Ken Bruce has taken to the airwaves again in his first show since his shock departure of BBC Radio 2 – with loyal fans celebrating his return.
The veteran Scottish presenter, who had a radio following of more than eight million listeners, kicked off his new show on Greatest Hits Radio today weeks after his last one with the BBC.
Opening his show with the legendary Beatles‘ 1969 hit, Come Together before then playing The Bangles’ Manic Monday, Ken welcomed his listeners, saying: ‘There you are.’
And his return has been celebrated by listeners on social media, with one saying: ‘King Ken is back and all of a sudden the world is a brighter place.’
Bruce’s new 10am to 1pm show will feature the triumphant return of his much-loved PopMaster music quiz, that Bruce brought over from the BBC due to him trademarking the long-standing segment.
New show: The Scottish radio presenter, 72, had the last day of his Radio 2 slot – which aired from 9.30am to midday for more than 30 years – in March before moving to Bauer’s Greatest Hits Radio on Monday (pictured in 2019)
Ahead of his appearance, the 72-year-old teased what listeners can expect to hear from his new show, saying: ‘What better way to celebrate my forty-five years in radio than with a new adventure and a brand-new show on Greatest Hits Radio.
‘I say brand-new but there will still be PopMaster, me and my musings and all the great records you know and love from the 70s, 80s and 90s.’
Bruce had the last day of his Radio 2 mid-morning slot – which aired from 9.30am to midday for more than 30 years – in March before moving to Bauer’s Greatest Hits Radio on Monday.
The acrimonious split stunned his audience and came amid a growing ‘ageism’ row at the BBC, with the corporation letting some of its biggest veteran stars go in a bid to freshen up Radio 2’s image and attract a younger audience.
In a familiar feeling to fans of his former Radio 2 show, Bruce’s Popmaster is still airing at the same time from 10.30am to 10.50am.
The radio legend’s return to Britain’s airwaves comes after he revealed he was ‘struggling’ with how the hours of his workday will change after exiting the BBC.
When asked if there are adjustments he has to make since moving to Bauer, Bruce said: ‘I’m struggling to work my day out.
‘I think I’m going to be going to bed an hour later because I just have to squeeze everything into the remaining hours of the day.
‘Once I get my body clock, right. I think I’ll be all right, but I’m really enjoying having a half-hour extra in bed every morning.’
New venture: Ken Bruce has revealed he is ‘struggling’ with how the hours of his workday will change after exiting the BBC
The radio DJ added that he will be ‘looking for lunch’ at 12.30pm when he is on-air and joked there will be a ‘problem with the microphones’ during this time.
He also said his new radio show after leaving the BBC will be ‘much the same’ and he is not looking to introduce ‘massive great bells and whistles stuff’ into the format.
Bruce added: ‘It’s just going to be nice things to keep people engaged, keep people listening, and taking part in the show, it’ll just be much the same as it was before just in a different place.’
After joining BBC Radio Scotland in 1977 in his 30s, he went on to several other shows at the corporation.
When asked how he was feeling about the move from a workplace after more than 40 years, Bruce said: ‘Well, I’ve got lots of friends still working at the BBC and who worked at the BBC for a long time, and still I’m very, very warm towards the BBC.
‘I think it’s a great organisation. It was just time for me to leave and now … it’s been quite a few weeks and really, I’m looking forward to doing a month or two, maybe a year or two, maybe a decade or two, on Greatest Hits Radio.’
Details: His new show airs from 10am to 1pm and will feature PopMaster, which Bruce has brought over from the BBC due to him trademarking the long-standing segment
Habits: The radio DJ added that he will be ‘looking for lunch’ at 12.30pm when he is on-air and joked there will be a ‘problem with the microphones’ during this time
Bruce said he also has ‘plans’ to branch out to other avenues before adding he is not as young as he ‘used to be’.
The BBC announced Gary Davies, host of the station’s Sounds Of The 80s will present the mid-morning show from March until TV presenter Vernon Kay takes over Bruce’s Radio 2 slot at a date in the future.
Bruce said he was seen as ‘the young pretender’ when he first fronted the Radio 2 Breakfast Show, taking over from ‘the great’ Sir Terry Wogan in 1985.
He added: ‘I did get a fair bit of criticism but you just have to ride that through and people are always comparing something they’ve listened to for a long time with something that’s brand new they’re not familiar with.’
Moving on: After joining BBC Radio Scotland in 1977 in his 30s, Bruce said of the BBC: ‘I’m still very, very warm towards the BBC. I think it’s a great organisation. It was just time for me to leave’
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.
He added: ‘I don’t give advice to other broadcasters, (Sir Terry) refused to give me any advice….I asked him for it, he wouldn’t do it.
‘So, I don’t think I should give advice, but this will pass is all I ever can say…if it’s not going as well as you might like, it’ll get better soon. Don’t worry, keep at it.’