Vernon Kay makes promise to listeners as he opens his debut show on Radio 2

‘So much noise in the build-up to this show, as to be expected, but we are here now,’ said presenter

Ellie Harrison
Monday 15 May 2023 12:16 BST
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Vernon Kay has opened his first show after taking over the mid-morning weekday BBC Radio 2 slot from Ken Bruce.

The Bolton-born broadcaster, 49, replaces radio veteran Bruce, 72, who helmed the programme for 31 years.

He opened his debut show by saying: “Right then, here we go – the adventure, let it begin. Good morning, everyone. Welcome. Welcome on board. Let’s do this!”

Kay’s first song was “Beautiful Day” by Irish band U2, which he said was “tried and tested on my two daughters, Phoebe and Amber”.

He said his daughters told him it’s a “classic”.

Introducing Chic’s “Good Times”, Kay said: “Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.”

He later told listeners: “I can relax now. We are two tracks in. It’s alright. Everyone just simmer. Let’s bring the boil down to a simmer. So much noise in the build-up to this show, as to be expected, but we are here now, we are in the chair and the microphone is working and that is all that matters.

“It’s a beautiful day here in central London and I do honestly, hand on heart, hope it’s a wonderful day wherever you are in the UK. It’s fabulous out here.”

He promised listeners the show would not be “London-centric”, saying: “This show is for you. It’s not all about what is going on in the capital. Oh no. Trust me, it’s about what is going on in your world.”

Ahead of his first show, Kay appeared on BBC Breakfast, promising it would be “more of the same”.

Vernon Kay
Vernon Kay (PA)

He said: “I’m very, very excited. The BBC Radio 2 audience are very faithful and nothing has changed apart from the voice behind the microphone and I can’t wait to get started at 9.30 on the dot.”

Asked if he gets nervous, he said: “It’s only talking. It’s a skill the majority of us were born with.

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“I think it’s that connection with the audience, the bond that you have. Fingers crossed, people will stay with us.”

Kay added: “Because the show was so successful it’s, ‘Don’t change it if it ain’t broke.’ It’s more of the same, really.”

Earlier this month, Kay responded to fans’ concerns that he would play too much dance music, saying: “It’s not going to be that, don’t worry.”

The presenter’s show will feature the daily music quiz Ten to the Top, Tracks of My Years, the Record and Album of the Week, and performances from the Radio 2 Piano Room.

It will not feature PopMaster, the beloved music quiz that Bruce has taken with him to Greatest Hits Radio.

Kay, who is married to Strictly Come Dancing presenter Tess Daly, is known for fronting various shows on Channel 4’s T4 as well as ITV programmes including All Star Family Fortunes, Just the Two of Us and Beat the Star.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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