BBC Radio 2s major blow as it loses 1 million listeners after Ken Bruce exit

Ken Bruce on leaving the BBC

It looks as though BBC Radio 2 has suffered a major blow since Vernon Kay took over from Ken Bruce’s regular slot.

The 49-year-old was handed the reigns back in May this year after Ken decided to leave the broadcaster after 30 years and move to Greatest Hits Radio.

According to radio rating body Rajar, Vernon’s show is still pulling in big figures with 6.9 million people listening in.

However, the ratings have dropped by 1.3 million compared to when Ken was in the hot seat.

Although it seems as though the BBC are still pleased with Vernon’s performance as Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore had nothing but praise.

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She told The Mirror: “Radio 2 continues to be the country’s most popular station.

“I’m delighted with the flying start Vernon Kay has made to mid-mornings as the UK’s biggest radio show, bringing his warmth, energy and charisma to listeners up and down the country.”

During Vernon’s first show, he assured listeners people would have “more of the same” as he stated nothing apart from the voice behind the microphone had changed.

One of Ken’s most loved segments of his show was the popular Popmaster quiz, which has now been replaced with Vernon’s Ten To The Top.

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However, it looks as though the move from the BBC has paid off for Ken who has boosted ratings for his new station.

Greatest Hits Radio recently announced that they’ve seen a growth of 76.9 per cent year on year, now attracting 6.5 million weekly listeners for their shows compared to 3.7 million last year.

Ken’s first show on the station broadcast in April this year and alone pulls in a weekly audience of 3.7 million listeners.

Recently, the 72-year-old launched Ken Bruce’s Secret 60s radio stream, which is a brand-new digital service from Greatest Hits Radio.

Speaking about his move to BBC Breakfast hosts Jon Kay and Nina Warhurst earlier this year, Ken admitted he’d done all he could at the BBC.

He said: “I thought, ‘Is there one last challenge left in you?’ and I thought, ‘Yeah let’s go and try it somewhere else.’

“That’s what I’ve ended up doing. I don’t think there was a single moment where I could pinpoint where I wanted to leave. It was never really a desire to get out of the BBC.

“It was really just a chance and opportunity to move forward and do something slightly different while I still can so that’s why I’m here.”

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