Ken Bruce

Ken Bruce

Infobox Radio Presenter
name = Ken Bruce

imagesize =
caption = Ken Bruce presenting BBC "Proms in the Park" in 2006
birthname = Kenneth Robertson Bruce
birthdate = birth date and age|1951|2|2
birthplace = Glasgow, Scotland
deathdate =
deathplace =
show = The Ken Bruce Show
station = BBC Radio 2
timeslot = 9:30 am - 12:00 pm weekdays
show2 = Friday Night is Music Night
station2 =
timeslot2 = 7:30 pm Fridays
style = Live music
country = United Kingdom
prevshow =
web = [ The Ken Bruce Show] |

Kenneth Robertson Bruce (born 2 February 1951 [BRUCE, Kenneth Robertson (Ken). (2006). In Debrett's People of Today 2006. Retrieved December 15, 2007, from] in Glasgow, Scotland) is a veteran British broadcaster known for his programme on BBC Radio 2, which is broadcast on weekdays from 9:30 am until 12 pm. In recent years, he has become a cult figure among the 18-30s generation.fact|date=June 2008

Early life and career

Bruce attended Hutchesons' Boys Grammar School, Glasgow, before training to be a chartered accountant. He began his broadcasting career with the "Hospital Broadcasting Service". [ [] ] in Glasgow, and went on to become a staff announcer for BBC Radio Scotland. He later took on his own daily afternoon show for the station and was involved in a range of current affairs programmes. [ [ BBC Biography] ] He presented the "Ken Bruce Show" on the BBC World Service in the late 1980s.

Radio 2


Bruce has presented different shows on BBC Radio 2. He joined in 1984, taking over Saturday late night. In January 1985, he took over the breakfast show from Terry Wogan. He originally took over mid-mornings in March 1986 but moved to Monday-Thursday late night in April 1990. In January 1991 Bruce presented the early-morning show. He has been in his mid-morning slot since early 1992, following Terry Wogan at 9:30 am and handing over to Jeremy Vine at noon.

Notable events

While Bruce was on holiday in August 2007, he was briefly replaced by Davina McCall. This attracted more than 150 complaints from listeners. [ [ BBC News Online] - Listeners turned off by DJ Davina]

During his show on 21 April 2008, theatre producer Bill Kenwright told Bruce that Elvis Presley once visited London in 1958. [ [ Times Online] - Elvis Presley made a secret visit to England] [ [ BBC News Online] - Elvis's secret UK visit revealed] [ [,,2275450,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront The Guardian] - When Elvis came to London] It was believed that Presley had never visited England and the claim caused considerable controversy. [ [ BBC News Online] - Elvis friends dispute London trip]

Programme format and features

The emphasis on Bruce's show is music. There are regular live performances on air. Competitions are usually music-based and a love song and dedications feature at 10:15 am. A music news slot with Julie Cullen (Mark Sutherland would do alternate weeks until he left the BBC for Billboard music magazine) appears at about 11:10 am on Thursdays. Other regular features include the "Record of the Week" and the "Album of the Week" [ [ BBC Album of the Week] ] and the "Tracks of My Years", where a celebrity picks two songs each day that have a particular meaning. "The Love Song" is played at 10.15 am each day, preceded by dedications, although a number of songs in the rotation are not love songs in a romantic sense (e.g. "At Seventeen" by Janis Ian, "The Greatest Love Of All" by George Benson).

The show includes regular features such as the PopMaster quiz, "Spin It To Win It", and "Words Don't Come Easily", although many have been suspended until the BBC's internal enquiry into possible abuse of phone-ins concludes (despite no allegation of impropriety against Radio 2). PopMaster quiz returned to Bruce's show in January 2008 with new jingles and a modified selection procedure where listeners register first and if successful the production team call back to ask three questions.

Bruce maintains a bantering relationship with the traffic presenter, typically Lynn Bowles, the two teasing each other and responding to listeners' comments. Such comments are read throughout the programme, generally on a theme of the day, such as a news story. Recurring themes include the appearance of Bruce on the studio webcam, Lynn Bowles' involvement with Land Rover and the information included on this Wikipedia profile, with contributors highlighting alterations that have been made; on occasions according to this page, he has become a Knight of the Realm, had a significant number of children, is of limited stature, received an inflated salary and loves caravanning. This cycle of spurious edits being discussed on air has caused the page to be locked due to vandalism on numerous occasions.He has been known to discuss his own sex life on the radio.

Although the programme's playlist is almost exclusively rock, pop and soul from the 1970s onwards, until early 2008 its Radio Data System flag identified it as programme type 12, "M.O.R.". It is now identified as programme type 10, "Pop music".

On 3 August 2006 it was announced that Ken Bruce had added 245,000 listeners, bringing his overall ratings to a record 6.64 million. [ [ BBC Ratings] ]

Frequent stand-in presenters when Bruce is absent include Richard Allinson, Simon Mayo and Aled Jones. The comedian and impressionist Rob Brydon, who is noted for his characterisation of Bruce sat in for him for one day only on 25 August 2008, although it is rumored in some quarters that Brydon is still sitting in and Bruce has done a runner, hence the improvement in the show. Bruce took his first day off sick in years on Wednesday 10 September 2008. On that occasion the show was presented by Richard Allinson.


Normally, the daily "PopMaster" quiz, with questions set by music expert Phil Swern, offers a DAB radio for successfully completing the "3 in 10" bonus round. If the listener fails, he/she is awarded a 'Flipper' radio. The previous consolation prize, a 'Space' radio, has been known to appear on eBay, to Bruce's amusement. The losing contestant is given a CD wallet.

The public phone-in "PopMaster" quiz was last aired, prior to its suspension, on 18 July 2007. A celebrity version was introduced on 20 July 2007, and continued until 18 January 2008. "3 in 10" was not played in the celebrity version and there was no tie-breaker in the event of a draw. It was rumoured that members of the public would be able to play again before Christmas 2007, however this did not happen. [ [ The Guardian] - BBC phone-in contests return - with new rules] [ [ Petersfield Post] - Phone-ins to resume after scandals] Following an announcement by Bruce on 7 January 2008, the normal format returned on 21 January 2008. [ [ The Guardian] - Radio review] The game returned with new dramatic, orchestral and guitar based jingles.

Other appearances

Ken Bruce has presented BBC Proms in the Park for numerous years. [ [ Radio Rewind] - Ken Bruce profile] He is also Radio 2's regular commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest [ [ BBC talk] - Ask Ken Bruce transcript] and one of the regular presenters of the long-running "Friday Night is Music Night". [ [ BBC Radio 2] - "Friday Night is Music Night"]

He occasionally makes appearances in the "Dictionary Corner" on Channel 4's "Countdown", the latest being during the week of 23 June 2008. [ [ Ask Oxford] ] When the original presenter Richard Whiteley died in 2005, Bruce said: " [he was] such a nice man - that was the defining quality of him, a genuinely nice man. And he had no real ego." [ [ Said What?] - Ken Bruce quotes]

In November 2007, he appeared on a Never Mind the Buzzcocks special for Children in Need. [ [ Episode World] - "Never Mind the Buzzcocks" appearance record]

He attended each of the Sex Pistols five comeback concerts at Brixton Academy in November 2007. Fact|date=December 2007

Bruce is a qualified coach driver and the co-owner of a Routemaster (one of London's red buses) with Charles Nove, Alan Dedicoat, Steve Madden and David Sheppard. [ [,2763,1454370,00.html The red brigade, The Guardian 9 April 2005] ] He has referred to the buses as "a fantastic piece of engineering and such fun to have". [ [ BBC Four] - I Love Routemasters]

Along with Lynn Bowles, he took part in Ready, Steady, Cook, broadcast on BBC Two on 3 March 2008.

Personal life

Bruce has four sons and two daughters, his latest son born in February 2008. He lives with his third wife in Oxfordshire. [ [ International Movie Database (IMDb) Biography] ] [BRUCE, Kenneth Robertson (Ken). (2006). In Debrett's People of Today 2006. Retrieved December 15, 2007, from] When driving his family in his car, he allows his dog to sit in the front passenger seat, while his wife and children are confined to the back. [ [ Daily Telegraph newspaper] - Portrait of a driver: Ken Bruce]

In April 2006, the Daily Telegraph reported that Bruce received a salary of £194,000 for his radio show. [ [] - Wogan is number one in BBC radio rich list]

Bruce is a fan of Rangers F.C., and occasionally remarks on their fortunes during his show. [ [ Rangers Loyal] - Famous Fans]

He was described as an "old fool" by fellow Radio 2 presenter Sarah Kennedy in 1999. [ [ Daily Mail] - Radio 2 host Sarah Kennedy in row over 'invisible blacks' remark] Some nine years later, in October 2008, he retaliated by by saying the Fleetwood Mac song "Sara" was written about Kennedy in 1926.

He is presently writing his autobiography.

On air, he frequently claims to be a drummer, but is unknown if this is true or what level of success he has achieved.


###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
before=Terry Wogan
title=BBC Radio 2
Breakfast Show Presenter
after=Derek Jameson

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