Vernon Kay picks up BBC ID as he prepares to take over from Ken Bruce

‘The Radio 2 adventure begins!’ Vernon Kay picks up his BBC ID badge as he prepares to take over from Ken Bruce ahead of his first show in May

  • Ken Bruce presented the 9.30am show on Radio 2 for 31 years until this month
  • Vernon Kay has regularly filled in for other BBC presenters including Zoe Ball
  • He will take on the PopMaster show with his first appearance said to be in May 

Vernon Kay has collected his BBC pass as he prepares to take over Ken Bruce’s slot on BBC Radio 2, with his first show reported to be in May.

TV presenter Kay, 48, has become a semi-regular on the channel by filling in for other presenters, but is set to begin his own show in just a few weeks time.

The star today posted a photo of his brand new ID card on Instagram, writing: ‘And so the BBC 2 radio adventure begins!’

It comes after Ken Bruce had his contract ended prematurely last month, with his final show airing some 17 days prior to its end date.

The BBC has made a raft of changes to radio programming in recent months, inviting new hosts such as Drag Race UK’s Michelle Visage and Rylan Clark into regular slots across its airways.

Vernon Kay is due to take over the PopMaster slot in May, filling the shoes of Ken Bruce

Kay posted a photo of his BBC pass on Instagram on Wednesday as he prepares to take to the airwaves

Ken Bruce had more than three decades of radio presenting experience, having commanded the 9.30am to 12pm slot on weekday mornings for 31 years.

Kay paid tribute to his predecessor after it was announced he would take over the role, saying: ‘My dad is a lorry driver and I said this when I joined Radio 2 and started standing in for Steve Wright, so we’ve always had Radio 2 on in the background.

‘It is part of us, it is in our DNA – Ken Bruce is mid-mornings. You don’t think of any other DJ when you think of that slot.

‘Whatever channel you choose to listen to, whoever is on mid-mornings, it’s the Ken Bruce slot. He has made it his own and he is an absolute legend of broadcasting.

‘To be asked to step into those big shoes… it was a big deep breath, I’ll be honest with you.’

He also released a statement, which read: ‘I’m absolutely over the moon to be handed the microphone to present the mid-morning show on Radio 2, and what an honour to follow in the footsteps of the mighty Ken Bruce.

‘It’s a dream come true to join the Radio 2 family and I can’t wait to start.’ 

Listeners were outraged to hear the Bruce had been asked to step down early by the corporation.

Speaking to the Mail last month, Bruce said he was ‘surprised’ to have been told he would be leaving the BBC so soon.

Bruce, who fronted the popular PopMaster show, only learned he would finish earlier this month around a week before his final show was scheduled.

He said: ‘I was called in at 12.30 and told that my final show would be a week today and wasn’t given any real reason that I understood.

Vernon Kay appeared on Zoe Ball’s BBC Radio 2 breakfast show to discuss his new slot last month

Veteran DJ Ken Bruce (pictured) has stepped down from his popular BBC Radio 2 show and will be succeeded by Vernon Kay

Bruce, 72, issued a short statement last week revealing he intended to work right up until the end of his contract at the end of March

Radio 2 fans have accused the BBC of ageism as a string of older DJs step back, including Paul O’Grady, Steve Wright, Ken Bruce and Simon Mayo

READ MORE: From male model and T4 to Radio 2: As Vernon Kay takes on radio slot, how he rose from Saturday morning TV to showbiz power couple with Strictly wife Tess Daly

‘I’m a little surprised and disappointed.’

Gary Davies is currently filling the primetime slot before Kay begins his new role. 

Kay, who is celebrating his 20th wedding anniversary to Strictly Come Dancing presenter Tess Daly this year, is known for fronting various shows on Channel 4’s T4 as well as ITV programmes including All Star Family Fortunes, Just The Two Of Us, and Beat The Star.

He and Daly have two daughters. 

He presented his own BBC Radio 1 show between 2004 and 2012 and another on Radio X between 2015 and 2017.

He is a familiar face on Radio 2, having previously filled in for presenters including Zoe Ball, Steve Wright, Rylan Clark and Dermot O’Leary.

Helen Thomas, head of Radio 2, said: ‘Radio 2 is home to some of the UK’s best-loved presenters, and I’m thrilled to welcome Vernon to mid-mornings on Radio 2.

‘He’s a hugely talented, warm and witty host who has already proved himself to be a firm favourite with our listeners when he’s presented many and varied shows across the station. I can’t wait to hear his brilliant new show.’

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