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BBC Radio 2's Ken Bruce admits exit after 31 years was 'sped up' by bosses

The radio legend will be replaced by Vernon Kay in the upcoming weeks

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 19:  Ken Bruce leaves the BBC after presenting his Radio 2 Show on July 19, 2017 in London, England. The BBC has published the pay of its top earning employees today as part of the corporation's annual report.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Ken Bruce (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

BBC Radio 2's Ken Bruce has revealed his final episode will be Friday 3 March – a month quicker than his contract dictates.

The radio legend announced on Friday 24 February he will be leaving the station after 31 years on the air, being replaced by Vernon Kay.

He will now be moving to Greatest Hits Radio.

Read more: Vernon Kay BBC Radio 2 reports welcomed by listeners who say star is 'great' choice

However, the Scottish broadcaster has since tweeted revealing the BBC had sped up his exit, meaning he leaves in just a week's time.

Ken Bruce with Michael Buble at BBC Radio 2. (BBC)
Ken Bruce with Michael Buble at BBC Radio 2. (BBC)

On Twitter, Bruce wrote: "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!"

The reveal went down badly with his devoted fanbase, who believe he should've been allowed to complete his contract after so many years of dedicated service to the BBC.

Read more: Rylan gutted about Ken Bruce leaving Radio 2: 'Ken IS Radio 2'

"That is a great loss to R2 but the way many companies seem to behave," wrote one. "Nothing for me at all on @BBCRadio2 now. Look forward to listening on ghr."

"I really hate how the @BBC does this to their most stalwart and beloved broadcasters. This is rubbish," added author Emma Kennedy. "You’ve been a constant delight Ken. They’ll miss you. We all will. Onwards to new adventures."

"This is awful behaviour from the BBC," a third said. "They should have been planning an appropriate send off for someone who has played no small part in making R2 one of the world's most successful radio stations, not petulantly conspiring to pull the plug earlier than necessary."

LONDON,ENGLAND - MARCH 8: Vernon Kay during the Rock Profiles for Red Nose Day on March 8th, 2022 in London,England. (Photo by Comic Relief/Getty Images)
Vernon Kay (Comic Relief/Getty Images)

Celebrity friends and colleagues have also shared their shock, with many crediting exactly how much Bruce has influenced their career.

Carol Vorderman told him: "I couldn’t wish you more love in the world Ken. Thank you for everything you’ve done and the smiles you gave Whiters and I on Countdown so many times Onto your next huge chapter."

Read more: Scott Mills on 'coming to terms' with leaving Radio 1

Journalist Ken Goodwin added: "Ken. They do not know the value of the talent they have. Until it is gone."

Even Jeremy Clarkson shared his best by writing: "I’ll miss you Ken."

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: BBC Radio 2 presenter Ken Bruce on stage during BBC2 Radio Live 2019 at Hyde Park on September 15, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Ken Bruce on stage at BBC2 Radio Live 2019 (Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

The BBC have since released their own statement that reads: "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."

On replacing Bruce, Vernon Kay said: “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.

“I look forward to playing some of the best music in the world whilst in the company of the Radio 2 listeners who I feel I’ve got to know over the last 18 months. It’s a dream come true to join the Radio 2 family and I can’t wait to start.”

WATCH: Vernon Kay set to replace Ken Bruce on BBC Radio 2