A FEW days have now passed since Radio 2 announced Ken Bruce’s departure, and despite the old saying “people come and people go”, his listeners remain outraged, accusing the station of ageism and threatening to switch off.

He’s not yet left?

The 71-year-old “king of the airwaves” Ken Bruce announced his upcoming departure from Radio 2 on Tuesday. Glasgow-born Bruce is to leave the BBC in March after more than 40 years, to join Greatest Hits Radio with a mid-morning show in April, taking his beloved PopMaster quiz with him.

What’s going on?

Bruce says he left of his own volition, but there are rumours he had been advised this was his last contract, with the station’s relatively new boss, Helen Thomas, apparently keen to encourage “mood mums” to listen - women in their 40s who apparently enjoy listening to the likes of Sara Cox in the drivetime slot - and to encourage more new music on the playlists.


Speculation as to money also being an issue is rife with listeners, as Bruce was earning around £385,000 a year, while Zoe Ball on the morning show is earning closer to £1m.

He’s the latest in a long line?

It comes in the wake of the departure of Steve Wright, 68, from the afternoon slot in September, and other DJs, including Vanessa Feltz, 60, and Paul O’Grady, 67. In an interview on This Morning, Feltz said she "can't speak" for Bruce "but I imagine that it's a feeling of some sense of ageism" that made him leave.

Did she feel it?

Feltz said older presenters are “not valued in the same way”, adding: “The music isn’t as appealing because they’ve changed it to appeal to a younger crowd they’re so desperate to get.”

What’s the reaction been?

Ardent fans are apoplectic, with messages online ranging from “Sad day for Radio 2 listeners…the ship is going down” to “Last one of the golden generation on BBC radio” and “This could be the death of Radio 2.”

They are not yet over it?

On the Ken Bruce Radio Show Appreciation Group on Facebook, which has more than 5000 members, one fan wrote: “When Ken leaves Radio 2 in April well so do I. Just love Ken’s smooth welcoming voice each morning and the way he interviews celebrities is just divine.”

Another said: “Sadly Radio 2 is now a parody of the awful Radio 1. Radio 2 used to play mostly old pop songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s, that’s why I started listening to it about 25 years ago. But now the vast majority of the music is ‘all sound the same’ modern pop rubbish… It’s a shame that the BBC are ignoring older listeners by trying to attract younger ones… RIP Radio 2.”

What does Radio 2 say?

But the BBC say: “Radio 2 is hugely proud of having a range of presenters from their 30s to 80-years-old on the station, an age range which hasn’t changed in decades…Radio 2 will continue to be a multi-generational radio station that serves a 35+ audience with listeners tuning in each week to our brilliant range of programmes, hosted by some of the UK’s best loved presenters. We continue to play a wide variety of the best music from the past seven decades, including from the 60s and 70s.”