It has been revealed that Ken Bruce will be replaced by Vernon Kay on his popular Radio 2 show.
The veteran DJ, 72, will leave his show in April, and Kay will sign a lucrative two-year deal.
The 48-year-old former Family Fortunes star has been filling in for Radio 2 presenters like Scott Mills and Zoe Ball, and has proven hugely popular. reports the bbc.
It comes after a rocky year for the station, which has lost 580,000 listeners after it tore up its lineup and lost older stars like Steve Wright and Paul O’Grady, as well as Bruce, whose slot has been hailed as the “most big”. the most coveted job in radio.
A source said: “Ken’s show is the most listened to in Europe so Vernon has a lot of shoes to fill.” But he’s such a warm and easy presenter and the listeners have really taken to it.
Veteran DJ Ken Bruce will leave his popular BBC Radio 2 show in April and Vernon Kay will succeed him.
Former Family Fortunes star Vernon Kay, 48, has been filling in for Radio 2 presenters like Scott Mills and Zoe Ball, and has proven hugely popular.
“Vernon has a lot of fresh, new ideas and content, but he won’t try to reinvent the wheel here – he knows how important this show is to listeners and wants them to feel welcome and safe.
“Everyone on the Beeb is very excited to have him on board.”
A formal announcement is expected to be made in the coming days, while the contracts are understood to have been signed last week.
Kay, who is married to Strictly host Tess Daly, will host his first show on April 3.
The news comes just weeks after Bruce announced he was leaving the BBC after more than 30 years.
It will step aside to compete with Greatest Hits radio and will carry the popular Popmaster test segment with it.
the station has been accused of age discrimination after the mass departure of some of its best-known hosts.
Steve Wright, 68, Paul O’Grady, 67, Vanessa Feltz, 60 and Simon Mayo, 64, have said goodbye to the station in recent months.
BBC Radio 2 has been accused of age discrimination after the mass march of some of its best-known presenters
A source told the Sun: ‘Ken is the most listened to DJ in Europe and has nothing more to prove on the BBC.
He has had an amazing time working there and is so grateful for the loyalty of all his listeners.
“But in recent years, there has been a noticeable change in direction, with a push to appeal to a younger audience.”
Last month, it was reported that Bruce resigned from Radio 2 because he felt “unloved” by bosses, who failed to reassure him about a new contract even though they wanted to keep him, BBC insiders say.
A source claimed that despite wanting to hold on to the DJ, Britain’s most popular radio host, a “mix-up” meant they didn’t tell him. This is said to have helped convince him to join its business rival Greatest Hits Radio.
The unexpected announcement of the 71-year-old presenter’s departure is now said to have caused discord at the BBC, as many see it as entirely avoidable.
A well-placed source said: ‘They definitely wanted to renew his contract, but due to a mix-up, no one told him. He is a proud man and he didn’t want to ask. When he told them that he was leaving, they all said: ‘but we were about to offer you a three-year contract’… A little late.’
Ken Bruce, Britain’s most popular DJ, has resigned from Radio 2 because he didn’t feel “loved” by the bosses, according to inside sources.
But another source close to the station disputed the contract claims, saying: “Ken was assured on more than one occasion that his future at Radio 2 was safe.”
The Scottish star is believed to have been unsettled by the way the corporation removed host Steve Wright’s long-running show last year amid a push to appeal to younger listeners.
Bruce is also said to have pleaded with his bosses to stop making him play “off-key dance music”, but received no proper response to his pleas.
The Radio 2 insider told the Mail: ‘Ken didn’t feel loved. Part of the problem was that we were told our target audience is ‘humor moms’, but we never really hear who they are or what they want! We started playing a lot of off-key dance music and Ken had begged them to stop making him play but apparently his emails were never answered.
The source, who accused bosses of being ‘asleep at the wheel’, added: ‘(Wright’s departure) just focused his mind. When Steve was fired, they didn’t consider the effect he might have on the rest of the presenters.
Bruce has been with the BBC for 45 years, 31 of those years presenting his mid-morning show on Radio 2. But loyal listeners are growing fed up with what they see as a shift towards a younger audience.