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Ken Bruce’s Radio 2 replacement speaks out on dwindling ratings after losing 1m+ listeners


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Ken Bruce’s BBC Radio 2 replacement Vernon Kay has publicly addressed the decline in listener figures the station has witnessed since his predecessor’s exit.

Bruce made the switch to Greatest Hits Radio back in April after saying goodbye to the Beeb after 31 years the month before, although left on a rather sour note after feeling underappreciated by the corporation.

Kay, 49, took on the station’s mid-morning slot just a few months later in May but hasn’t been able to attract the same number of listeners Bruce did.

In fact, 1.3 million listeners have decided to switch off Radio 2 since Bruce’s departure according to the latest figures from industry body Rajar.

Kay still remains the host of the most-listened-to show on the airwaves but now broadcasts to an audience of 6.9 million rather than 8.2 million.

Bruce, on the other hand – who’s since claimed the Beeb is no longer a “great organisation” – has seen a remarkable rise in listenership for his show on GHR this past quarter, increasing his audience from 800,000 to 3.7 million.

Ken Bruce

Ken Bruce was replaced by Vernon Kay after leaving the BBC


“There was a dip when Ken Bruce left but that’s to be expected,” Kay said as he addressed the listening figures.

He branded his fellow presenter a “radio icon” and that there’s a “lot of love” for him from the public.

Kay conceded: “That’s proven by him taking some of the audience with him to Greatest Hits, which is fabulous for him. But since that dip, figures have stayed steady, so I’m pleased.

“It feels like I’m chatting to a load of mates… 6.9 million people from all over the UK and Europe cram into the studio. That’s mind-blowing – but you can’t take it too seriously.”

Elsewhere in his interview with Radio Times, Kay was quizzed on whether or not he remains in contact with Bruce since his Beeb exit.

“We take the same train every morning,” Kay remarked, before revealing the pair often “say hello and have a chinwag”.

However, Kay’s not planning to enjoy a 31-year-long tenure like Bruce did now he’s in the Radio 2 hot seat, insisting there’s “no way” he’ll be hosting the show into his 80s.

Meanwhile, Bruce has also spoken out about his participation in growing Greatest Hits Radio’s audience exponentially in the short time he’s been there.

Vernon Kay was speaking in this week's Radio Times

Vernon Kay was speaking in this week’s Radio Times


Once the figures were released, Bruce said: “It’s been an honour to share this new adventure with those that have made the switch…

“And talking of honours I have an appointment to keep this Friday, which explains why I’m not on air this week.”

Bruce was referring to his appointment with Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace where he was made an MBE for his services to autism awareness.

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Written by: radioroxi

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