According to recent statistics, Vernon Kay’s BBC Radio 2 program has experienced a decline of 1.3 million audience members since he replaced Ken Bruce as the host.
Bruce, 72, worked at the station for 31 years before leaving in March and joining Greatest Hits Radio (GHR) the following month. Kay, 49, took over the station’s mid-morning slot in May.
However, according to the most recent data from Rajar, Kay’s radio show has 6.9 million listeners, which is 1.3 million less than when Bruce was the presenter. These statistics cover the period of June to September 2023.
In the meantime, Bruce has seen a rise in his PopMaster quiz on GHR, gaining an additional 800,000 viewers for his new show, bringing the total audience to 3.7 million within the same timeframe. The experienced DJ’s presence has been a boost for the entire station, resulting in a weekly audience of 6.5 million for all of its programs, in comparison to 3.7 million in the previous year.
Bruce expressed his joy upon learning that he had assisted his new radio station, Greatest Hits, in achieving its highest number of listeners to date. He also mentioned that it was a privilege to embark on this new journey with those who have joined the station. He then revealed that he will be absent from the airwaves this week due to a prior commitment on Friday.
Kay’s show continues to hold the title of the most popular radio show in the UK, while Radio 2 continues to be the most widely listened-to channel in the country. The station recorded 13.5 million weekly listeners, which is a decrease of 1 million compared to the same time period in 2022.
Charlotte Moore, the chief content officer of BBC, expressed her satisfaction with the success of Radio 2 as the most popular station in the country. She also praised Vernon Kay for his impressive performance as the host of the biggest radio show in the UK, bringing his lively personality and charm to listeners nationwide.
Helen Thomas, the controller of BBC Radio 2, expressed her pride in the fact that it continues to be the most popular radio station in the UK.
Bruce had expressed to the Radio Times that he had previously felt like he was not a priority and was being overlooked by Radio 2. He also mentioned that he was having difficulty finding excitement in the new music he was required to play. He viewed it as unfortunate that the station had requested for him to end his contract three weeks earlier than planned.
“I was frustrated because I believed I was being rational. I wasn’t being difficult, and neither were you,” he stated. “I think the goal is simply to create some distance between Vernon and myself.”
When Bruce left, Simon Mayo, who had also departed from Radio 2 in December 2018 and then joined GHR, expressed dissatisfaction with how the situation was handled.
“I find it unexpected that it remained relevant for such a prolonged period. On social media, the Ken Bruce icon is associated with Greatest Hits Radio on Twitter.”