BBC radio host insists change is imperative after Ken Bruce’s exit

Ken Bruce on leaving BBC Radio 2

BBC Radio 5 Live breakfast programme host Rick Edwards has insisted that it is “imperative” that radio stations evolve and bring in new voices.

The BBC star, 44, gave his opinion on the need for change in spite of the backlash the broadcaster received following Ken Bruce’s exit from BBC Radio 2 at the start of this year.

Rick spoke about “old school radio legends are moving on” ahead of taking on the lead presenting role on BBC Radio 5’s Fighting Talk.

The presenter, who usually cohosts his breakfast show with Rachel Burden, will take over Fighting Talk from Colin Murray after he announced earlier this year he would be stepping down.

Rick said of the various changes within the BBC: “With Ken Bruce leaving to Greatest Hits…

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“Some of those old school radio legends are moving on or have moved on. I think that’s part of radio.

“And there’s always a little bit of resistance from the audience because radio is such an intimate medium and you end up feeling like these people are your friends, and they’ve been with you for so long, and you’re so comfortable with them, so to then not have them I think can be difficult.

“But it’s also, I think, imperative that the stations do change and bring in new voices because you can’t just wait until people die and then replace them.

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“You have to have a bit of movement and evolution so I don’t think any of it is bad,” he added.

His comments come after the recent departure of several high-profile presenters, including Ken Bruce leaving for Greatest Hits and Scott Mills leaving Radio 1 for Radio 2.

Rick also explained that, in his experience, listeners get used to change “pretty quickly”.

“There’s reservations and as long as you do a good job, then people are really more open than they might imagine to that kind of change…” he said.

“I think you just have to get over the initial hump, both as the person who’s doing the show and also as the audience and I think it can happen quite quickly – not always, but generally speaking.”

Fighting Talk returns to BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sounds tomorrow at 11am.

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