has been tipped among the favourites to take over from Ken Bruce after the legendary DJ became the latest older star to leave Radio 2.
Bruce, 71, has jumped ship after 45 years for commercial rival Greatest Hits Radio, where radio insiders predicted he could be on £500,000 a year.
Radio consultant Paul Chantler suggested Radio 2 could look for a younger name to replace him, and named former star Rylan Clark as a possible candidate.
Clark, 34, praised Bruce in a post today, writing: ‘A beautiful man who’s always been so lovely to me at BBC Radio 2.
‘Going to be so missed on air, but personally I’ll miss having a beer in a foreign country discussing anything and everything whilst at Eurovision. Thanks for always being so lovely.’
Ken Bruce announced today that he was leaving BBC Radio 2.Rylan Clark (right) has been tipped to replace him
Today Clark praised Bruce in a Twitter post today, calling him ‘a beautiful man who’s always been so lovely to me at BBC Radio 2’
Mr Chantler told MailOnline: ‘Bauer, are trying to build Greatest Hits Radio into much more of a rival to Radio 2. They will undoubtedly get an excellent return on their investment in Ken through sponsorship of the daily PopMaster competition which advertisers will love to be associated with because of its popularity.
‘Radio 2 is definitely pitching itself towards a younger audience now, having just brought in Scott Mills and phasing out classic songs from the sixties and seventies during daytime programming.
‘It’ll be interesting to see who replaces Ken. My guess is Rylan, who’s become a favourite on Saturdays and is has wide appeal thanks to his TV profile.
‘It seems the BBC is abandoning older music listeners.Commercial stations like Boom Radio and Serenade Radio are taking care of the tastes of the 50+ audience leaving Radio 2 to appeal to 35 to 50 year olds.’
Mr Chantler added: ‘By the way, I’m surprised the BBC didn’t do more to protect the PopMaster competition from being ‘stolen’ by a commercial rival.PopMaster has a big potential value to Bauer.
‘The BBC could have taken steps to prevent that legally even if Ken moved . Look what happened with TV’s Top Gear which stayed with the BBC even though Jeremy, Richard and slot demo James as presenters moved to Amazon. It appears someone in the BBC has missed a trick here.’
Bruce announced today that ‘the time is right’ for him to move on from the weekday mid-morning show he’s presented since 1986 – with just a two year gap between 1990 and 1992 – having first walked into the corporation in 1977.
He informed his 9million listeners this morning that he would quit in March – but he is not retiring, heading into commercial radio and taking his much-loved PopMaster quiz with him.
And in an advert for his new mid-morning show, he urged people to follow him as fans vowed to never listen to Radio 2 again when he leaves complaining that older presenters are being swapped for younger, less talented broadcasters, like Scott Mills.
Ken said: ‘Nothing stays the same forever.I’ve done everything it is possible to do at Radio 2. I’ve always felt I’ve got something more to prove. I hope that when people hear the news they will say: ‘Sorry to hear you’re going Ken, but maybe I’ll follow you to wherever it is you’re going’.’
Ken Bruce said he has done all he could at the BBCV and wants a fresh challenge for the end of his career
Listeners have vowed never to return to Radio 2 when Ken is gone
Radio 2 fans have accused the BBC of ageism as a string of older DJs step back, including Pauk O’Grady, Steve Wright, Graham Norton and Simon Mayo, replaced by ex-Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, RuPaul’s Michelle Visage, Waterloo Road’s Angela Griffin, and DJ Spoony
Mr Bruce is the latest veteran to leave the station, but he insists it is his decision. Last summer Paul O’Grady exited Radio 2 after Steve Wright, 68, , 59, and Simon Mayo, 64, all left and were replaced with a younger line up. Vanessa Feltz, 60, and Craig Charles, 58, have also moved on.
Experts say Greatest Hits Radio boss Ben Cooper, who joined Bauer last year from the BBC where he ran Radio 1, is adding Mr Bruce to his roster of Simon Mayo and Jackie Brambles as they try to steal listeners from the increasingly younger-focused BBC Radio 2.
Ken’s listeners have claimed they could hear he was ‘less enthusiastic about playing some of those newer records’ that his bosses insisted on as they try to bring in younger listeners.
<div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS news" data-version="2" id="mol-1a499e20-966c-11ed-b30d-7b099e807c11" website Clark tipped to be among favourites to take over from Ken Bruce