Ken Bruce has left his listeners “bawling” today as he bid an emotional final farewell to BBC Radio 2 after 31 years.
The Scottish radio broadcasting veteran announced back in January that he would be stepping down from his late-morning slot on BBC Radio 2 after hosting the primetime show for over three decades from 1986 to 1990, and then again from 1992 to 2023.
The 72-year-old said he would “always be proud” of his association with the BBC and Radio 2.
But Bruce explained that he wanted to continue his career “in a slightly different way in the next few years”, and confirmed that, to do this, he’ll be moving to Greatest Hits Radio in April to present a brand new mid-morning show.
Taking to the airwaves for the final time, Bruce’s final show saw send-offs from long-time listeners and fellow broadcasters.
He also repaid the kindness showed to him throughout his career, by going on to thank his listeners, the production team at Radio 2, and the BBC – the latter of which he claimed on Twitter last month “decided wants me to leave [Radio 2] earlier” than planned, after he had “intended fulfilling my contract until the end of March”.
“Thanks to all who’ve sent any kind of message of congratulations or good riddance,” Bruce told his listeners in his final message.
After what had been an emotional couple of hours, Bruce then directly addressed his former employer, stating: “And to the BBC, I’ve been here for a long time and, apart from the occasional vaguery, it is still the finest broadcasting organisation in the world.”
Bruce then had the tough task of picking the songs to signing-off his last ever show.
He chose a medley of ‘Golden Slumbers’, ‘Carry That Weight’, and ‘The End’ that all end the legendary Abbey Road album by The Beatles, just as his BBC career came to an end.
As his final show drew to a close, social media was flooded with messages of support for Bruce and memories of his career from both listeners and famous faces.
One fan shared said on Twitter: “Having a bit of a cry at Ken Bruce playing The Beatles’ Golden Slumbers, Carry that Weight, The End, at the end of his last programme for BBC 2. Pass the tissues please.”
Another added: “I didn’t expect to have a little midday cry over this, but here I am. Thank you, Ken Bruce.”
A third simply said on Twitter that they were “bawling” at Bruce’s sign-off.
Vernon Kay will take over from Ken Bruce in May, with DJ Gary Davies will fill the gap between Bruce’s departure and Kay’s first show, the BBC has confirmed.
Kay is well-known for fronting various shows on Channel 4’s T4 throughout his career, as well as several ITV shows including All Star Family Fortunes, Just The Two Of Us, Beat The Star, and Splash!, for competing in reality competition show I’m A Celebrity… back in 2020, and has lots of experience on the airwaves too.
The 48-year-old presented his own BBC Radio 1 show between 2004 and 2012, and then went on to host a show on Radio X between 2015 and 2017.
Featured Image – BBC
Eurovision 2023 grand final to be screened live in cinemas across the UK
The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest is to be screened live in cinemas across the UK for the first time ever.
With fans from across the globe set to descend on Liverpool in a couple of months time as the UK hosts the 2023 edition of the world’s biggest song competition on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine, those who weren’t lucky enough to secure tickets will instead by able to head to their nearest cinema to experience the action on the big screen.
Distributor CinemaLive has announced it will be broadcasting the Eurovision grand final show live in cinemas nationwide for the first time ever.
It means that Eurovision fans up and down the country who missed out on grabbing tickets to the final – which sold out in under 40 minutes after going on sale earlier this month – will be able to come together to celebrate what is set to be the “biggest, brightest, boldest music party of the year”.
500 cinemas across the UK, including several here in Greater Manchester, will be screening the grand final on Saturday 13 May.
Vue, Odeon, Cineworld, and Everyman are just some of the cinema chains taking part.
Vue Manchester Printworks, Odeon Great Northern, and Everyman Manchester are the Manchester city centre venues lined-up to screen the event – with cinemas in the The Lowry Outlet Mall, Trafford Centre, Didsbury, Heaton Moor, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bolton, and more also set to welcome Eurovision fans through their doors.
Event organisers say the screenings will encourage singalongs and fancy dress.
“We’re delighted to be working with the BBC to bring Eurovision’s grand final live into cinemas across the UK for the first time ever,” said John Travers from CinemaLive.
“We want audiences to enjoy themselves, so get your fancy dress on, and come together to enjoy this historic occasion on the big screen.”
With an illustrious entertainment career spanning over four decades, O’Grady may have been most well-known and loved by British audiences as a comedian, presenter, broadcaster, actor, writer, and the former drag queen Lily Savage – but he was also one of the nation’s most-famous dog lovers and animal rights advocates.
O’Grady was a longtime supporter and Ambassador of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, and helped raise the profile of the shelter to millions around the world through the hugely-popular ITV series Paul O’Grady: For The Love of Dogs.
Battersea says there’s “no doubting” that O’Grady’s influence has helped thousands of rescue animals find new homes over the years.
Over several series of the show, O’Grady would make an effort to spend quality time with these animals and show-off all of their quirks and loveable qualities, which went a long way to proving that rescue animals “really are the best pets”.
Paying an emotional tribute to O’Grady following his passing today, Peter Laurie – Chief Executive of Battersea – said: “To many, Paul O’Grady was the immensely popular TV and radio presenter and comedian who lit up their screens with his razor-sharp humour and perpetual generosity and warmth [but] Battersea will forever remember Paul as a devoted animal lover with the biggest heart, who fell head over heels in love with every dog he met at our centres.
“Paul will always be associated with Battersea and we are truly saddened to have lost such a true friend and huge part of our charity.
“Paul had an extremely hands on approach as a Battersea Ambassador and has been fundamental in helping our charity to communicate important campaign messages.
“He was a champion for the underdog and would do anything to ensure all animals live a healthy and happy life.
“He will be dearly missed.”
Since the news of O’Grady’s passing was announced, touching tributes have been pouring in in their hundreds from right across the world of entertainment and on social media.
Countless famous names have shared supportive messages and memories.
Emotional tributes to O’Grady have been flooding in all morning, both from those who knew and had worked with him in the past, and from those who admired his work and all that he achieved and had stood for throughout his respected career.