Chris Packham blasts BBC over ‘improper loss’ of Ken Bruce

Chris Packham, 61, criticised the BBC for Ken Bruce’s departure and hailed him as “one of the nation’s best broadcasters”. The Winterwatch star took to Twitter to share his disappointment after Ken revealed his last Radio 2 show will be next Friday, despite his original intention to continue until the end of March.

Taking to Twitter yesterday, Ken penned: “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 signed off.

Reposting the tweet, Chris said: “This is a sad/wrong/improper loss of one of the nations best/greatest/most popular broadcasters.

“And it shows little respect for loyalty and service and talent and just being a bloody good bloke. @RealKenBruce [sic].”

Ken announced on air in January he would be leaving the station after 31 years in the role.

A BBC spokesperson told “Ken decided to leave Radio 2 and it’s always been known he’s leaving in March.

“Returning to Wogan House for a week after a month of broadcasting the Piano Room sessions at Maida Vale provided a natural break.

“We wish Ken all the best for the future.”

Vernon Kay will now replace presenter Ken on his weekday mid-morning slot on Radio 2, the BBC has confirmed.

The mid-morning show, famous for its daily Popmaster quiz, is Britain’s most listened-to radio programme.

The show currently has more than 8.5 million weekly listeners, according to data from the industry body Rajar.

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Ken will take the Popmaster format with him when he moves to the rival commercial station Greatest Hits Radio.

“Vernon is a lovely bloke and I wish him all the best,” Bruce told BBC News, adding he “wouldn’t dare give anyone else tips about broadcasting”.

Vernon, who is known for presenting ITV’s All Star Family Fortunes, said taking over the show was “a dream come true”.

“And what an honour to follow in the footsteps of the mighty Ken Bruce,” he added in a statement on Friday.

“I’m absolutely over the moon to be handed the microphone.”

The 48-year-old has previously had his own shows on Radio 1 and Radio X, and currently presents Radio 2’s Dance Sounds of the 90s – with his “Back to Bolton Cheesy Bangers”.

Vernon, who is married to Strictly Come Dancing presenter Tess Daly, will start his new show in May.

DJ Gary Davies will fill the gap between Ken’s departure on March 3, and Vernon’s first show.

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