Vernon Kay said fans of veteran broadcaster Ken Bruce have given him “the best trolling I’ve ever had” ahead of his start at BBC Radio 2 on Monday.
The TV presenter, 49, announced in February that he was taking over from Scottish radio presenter Ken.
Ken had previously revealed he was be stepping down from presenting his mid-morning show on the station after 31 years. He has moved to Greatest Hits Radio.
The show will run from 9.30am to 12pm every weekday, featuring 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.
The Ten To The Top quiz, which replaced Ken's infamous Popmaster, sparked backlash with fans taking to social media to brand the quiz "rubbish" with one adding that listening to it felt "excruciating."
Vernon told the i Weekend newspaper he is apprehensive about starting the coveted role on Monday.
“The longer I wait, the more tricks my mind is starting to play on me. I’ve done nothing but listen to Ken. That vibe, that atmosphere he can create, it is so good,” he said.
“I don’t think there’s anyone in British broadcasting who can put together a funny, entertaining information-packed anecdote in five sentences like him. It takes me five minutes.”
Vernon said he was shocked when he heard of Bruce’s planned departure and equally as stunned when Radio 2 boss Helen Thomas asked him to take over, having previously filled in for presenters including Zoe Ball, Steve Wright, Rylan Clark and Dermot O’Leary.
“I was quite content with the filling in. When you dip your toe in, you can be a bit more naughty than you would usually. It’s kind of ‘thanks for having me, you tidy up the mess’,” he said.
He added that standing in for Zoe Ball and Steve Wright turned out to be his 'pilot' shows and that he said yes to the role without even having to think about it.
But then the negative comments began, with fans of Ken saying Vernon was too young for the role. “It’s the best trolling I’ve ever had,” he admits.
Vernon, who said he wants the show to have “real energy”, shared advice he received from fellow Radio 2 presenter Scott Mills. Scott told him not to change and not to try creating a character.
Last December, Vernon made his pantomime debut, starring as Dandini – “the prince’s personal assistant” – in Cinderella, having accepted it following some encouragement from his kids.
Vernon’s two daughters with his Strictly Come Dancing presenter wife, Tess Daly – Phoebe, 18 and Amber, 13 – have been regular panto-goers with their parents since they were little.
Vernon Kay is on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds, weekdays from 9.30am-12pm, from Monday.
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