‘I’m going to miss you’: Ken Bruce says an emotional goodbye after 31 years hosting on BBC Radio Two
Radio legend Ken Bruce paid tribute to his listeners as he signed off from his BBC Radio 2 show, after more than three decades
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The broadcasting legend, 72, from Glasgow, took to the airwaves for his last BBC Radio 2 show on Friday 3 March. This came after more than three decades of hosting a weekday mid-morning programme and having been on BBC radio in some form for 46 years.
At the start of his final show, Ken addressed his fellow Radio 2 presenter, Zoe Ball, and his listeners, saying: "I’m going to miss you.”
"Don’t listen for any secret messages or hidden agendas. Just good music all the way through. Enjoy!"
Throughout the show, Ken read out messages from listeners, one jokingly said: “Now you’re on gardening leave, can you come sort my garden out, please?”
A second said: “Ken you’re like my radio husband, you’re talking, I then leave and come back and you’re still talking.”
Another listener contacted the show to reveal that he lives in Ken’s old house in Glasgow, saying: “When I leave I will put up a blue plaque to say ‘Ken Bruce was here - Don’t worry he’s left now’.”
The final show featured an outstanding list of songs, opening with Jackson 5’s ‘Can you feel it,’ and played the likes of ‘Love Fool’ by The Cardigan, as well as ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’, by Marvin Gaye.
Actor Rob Brydon, who is known for his perfect Ken Bruce impression, also sent in a message, saying: “Hi Ken, I just want to send you my best wishes as you start on this new chapter.”
Ken said: "Thank you to everybody who has contributed in any small way to this programme, particularly the listeners. I really couldn’t do it without the listeners, who contribute and complete the dialogue.”
He continued: "We talk to each other on a daily basis, and I hope sometime in the future we may be able to continue doing that."
After receiving well wishes throughout the programme, Ken joked: "Thanks to all who sent any kind of messages of congratulations - or good riddance."
Ken Bruce closed his final Friday broadcast by playing ‘Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End’ by The Beatles. A song which many have since praised as the most perfect choice for the last song on the last show.
After the song ended, Ken quoted the Beatles song, and told his listeners: "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make - and I have loved being here with you."
He then added: "Thank you so much, and may we meet again somewhere."
Many of Ken’s fans took to social media to pay emotional tributes and to wish their ‘radio friend’ well. With one listener saying: “Farewell Ken Bruce, won’t be the same without you.”
Whilst another took to Instagram, writing: “Gonna miss you on Radio 2 Ken Bruce - In a world of craziness and uncertainty, you’ve been a calm and much-appreciated constant.”
The final programme also included the last Radio 2 edition of his hugely popular quiz Popmaster, which Bruce is taking with him to his job at Greatest Hits Radio.
In January, Ken announced that he will be stepping down from the BBC and will be carrying on with his weekday shows until the end of March. However, last weekend he took to Twitter to give his followers an update.
He tweeted: “I will be presenting my last show on Radio 2 next Friday. I had intended fulfilling my contract until the end of March but the BBC has decided it wants me to leave earlier. Let’s enjoy the week ahead!”
Ken spoke with Garry Richardson on Radio 4’s Today Programme ahead of his final broadcast, where he shared his feelings on the BBC’s decision. He said: “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.”
He added: “My belief is that, when I’m given a contract, I work to it and complete it.
Following the sad news of Ken’s departure it was announced that TV presenter Vernon Kay will be taking over the mid-morning weekday slot from May. Whilst Gary Davis, who does Radio 2’s Sound of the 80s, is set to fill in until then.