Ken Bruce announced his departure from Radio 2 last month after 45 years at the BBC, having first joined as a staff announcer in Scotland.
Bruce admitted he was “surprised and disappointed” to be told in a meeting that his final mid-morning show after 31 years will be this week.
The 72-year-old is moving to commercial rival Bauer’s Greatest Hits Radio (GHR) to present a new mid-morning show from April.
Here’s what you need to know.
When is Ken Bruce’s last day?
Ken Bruce’s last day on Radio 2 will be this Friday (3 March).
The veteran broadcaster said he had hoped to complete his BBC contract by staying on air until the end of March.
His younger replacement, Vernon Kay, will not take over the slot until May.
Giving his first interview since securing the role, Kay, the former Family Fortunes host, told Ball: “Ken Bruce IS mid-mornings. You don’t think of any other DJ when you think of that spot.”
Kay added: “He’s an absolute legend of broadcasting and to be asked to step into those big shoes, it was a big deep breath – I’ll be honest with you, I’m over the moon and so are my parents and Tess (Daly, his Strictly-presenter wife) and the kids but it’s the Ken Bruce show – you know what I mean?”
With a weekly audience of 8.2 million, Bruce hosts the most popular show on UK radio.
He is taking the popular PopMaster quiz with him to GHR, which is already using Bruce prominently in its marketing and has made no secret of its intent to poach Radio 2’s listeners.
Why is he leaving early?
Bruce said he had been given “no explanation” for his early departure.
He abruptly ended a meeting with Radio 2 boss Helen Thomas last Friday when told the news, i understands.
“What a thoroughly shabby way to treat someone after over 30 years of service,” said former Radio 1 and 6 music presenter Liz Kershaw, reflecting the views expressed online of many of Bruce’s loyal listeners.
Handing over to Bruce at 9.30am, Radio 2 Breakfast Show presenter Zoe Ball told him: “Five more days of Ken Bruce. We’re going to make such a fuss of you. You’ll be desperate to leave the building.”
Bruce replied: “Please don’t. It’ll be a life sentence to you having to listen to this for another five days.”
BBC insiders say it was not practical to allow Bruce the “long goodbye” he wanted.