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His cramped Radio 2 office in central London’s Wogan House, formerly Western House, renamed in the great communicator’s honour, barely reflects Vine’s abundant income nor contains his gangling 6ft 3in frame, as he recalls a recent caller to his show, Harry Jones, a former coal miner from Glamorgan, who politely but repeatedly asked Vine to justify his salary, enquiring if the broadcaster was ‘embarrassed to pick up your pay cheque?’‘I didn’t really have an answer,’ Vine sighs, surrounded by music memorabilia and family photos.” It was so weird, I can’t tell you.’As excitable as Evans can be, Ken Bruce is ever on hand to reinstate avuncular equanimity by that second cuppa time of the morning.After nearly 40 years of BBC service, nothing can fluster the unflappable Bruce.‘I’m not a flapper, but I will worry,’ he frets softly between records.And thrown up new stars: soul-meister Trevor Nelson, energetic Zoë Ball and playful Graham Norton.Radio 2 has come to be a dependable friend, serene, understanding and always there for us. There has been death, divorce and heartbreak; squabbles, sackings and shenanigans.‘I still don’t.’Vine, 52, is one of the BBC’s seven best-paid employees, all men, topped by Chris Evans who is on £2,200,000-£2,249,999.The highest-paid woman is Claudia Winkleman, who is paid £450,000-£499,999.
‘We all stayed up in the hotel watching the live coverage of the referendum and we all saw the ashen-faced Brexiteers call their parties off and go home.
Mid-mornings would feel incomplete without a bracing dose of Ken Bruce and his challenging Pop Master quiz.
Were Steve Wright not to appear in the afternoon, something wouldn’t be right; two o’clock cups of tea would stay suspended in some nightmarish holding pattern as we awaited our daily delivery of ‘factoids’.
We all went to bed at 11 o’clock thinking, “That was all a fuss about nothing.”‘Then certain things happened overnight and we woke up to our alarms at am saying, “We’re out? ” I left on my motorbike for Glastonbury, which didn’t know the result yet – that’s 155,000 people in a fenced city the size of Middlesbrough waking up to a big shock.‘Then at about am, Miss Ellie, down the line, said, “We think the Prime Minister is going to resign.
We might have to take that live.” Meanwhile I’m going around to people saying, “So, how’s your veggie burger?