Ken Bruce: Vanessa Feltz on broadcaster leaving BBC Radio 2
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Ken Bruce announced he was leaving his mid-morning BBC Radio 2 show on Tuesday. Speaking on This Morning, Vanessa Feltz claimed she wasn’t surprised as she stated his “days were numbered” at the broadcaster.
Speaking to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, Vanessa shared her fond memories of Ken has presented on BBC Radio 2 after 31 years.
Vanessa agreed with claims of an “ageism row” as she stated: “He’s not just a lovely man, he is a broadcasting genius.
“He had over nine million listeners, his ratings get higher every single quarter.
“I know because I was one of his colleagues at Radio 2 for years and years.
“I used to listen to him when I was at university in 1982/83, and when I got to work with him, I had to really stop myself curtseying and bowing. I was in awe.”
Phillip went on to quiz his guest on the reason Ken decided to leave the broadcaster.
Despite admitting she hadn’t spoken to Ken about it, she thinks he felt like his “days were numbered”.
“This is a huge loss to the BBC,” she said as Phillip asked: “Why? He’s got 8.5 million weekly listeners. You recently left, why has he gone?”
“Well, I don’t know because I haven’t spoken to him personally,” Vanessa replied.
“But I would imagine that it’s a feeling of some sense of ageism at the BBC and that once you get over a certain age, your days are numbered.
“You’re not valued in the same way, the music isn’t as appealing because they’ve kind of changed the music of Radio 2 to appeal to the younger audience they’re so desperate to get.”
“I can’t speak for him, although I adore him, but I imagine he felt that he didn’t have a bright future there,” Vanessa added.
Vanessa’s comments came after it was reported Ken left the broadcaster because he was “too old”.
An unknown source told The Sun: “He’s had an incredible time working there and is so grateful for the loyalty of all his listeners.
“But in recent years, there’s been a noticeable shift in direction, with a drive to attract a younger audience.
“The music has become edgier and more modern and the DJs seemingly ever-younger, which is a bit concerning for the old guard.”
However, the BBC has since responded to the reports, explaining Ken “explained his reasons for leaving Radio 2 in his quote and on air.”
A spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “We respect his decision and wish him the very best of luck in the future as he’s been a much-loved part of the Radio 2 family.
“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, in fact, Ken Bruce started presenting on Radio 2 at the age of 32.
“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 the 60s and 70s.”
This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.
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