Southern FM DJ Danny Pike will replace Gordon Astley on BBC Southern Counties Radio, The Argus can reveal.

Danny, who has spent 17 years at Southern FM, will take up his new post on the midmorning programme in May.

The news will put an end to a Facebook campaign set up to reinstate Gordon after he mysteriously left Southern Counties at the beginning of February, despite being under contract until April.

Danny, from Brighton, described his time at Southern FM as unbelievably happy and successful.

He said: "I started at Southern FM three weeks before my first daughter was born.

"She's now studying for A-levels and driving a car.

"I can t believe so much time has passed so quickly."

Among his highlights he listed the Party In The Park events and said a low point was when they mistakenly gave away two cars instead of one in a competition.

Something he will not miss is the early breakfast show starts.

He said: "The first thing I m going to do is have some serious lieins."

Programme controller Tony Aldridge said: "Danny is a true professional and has been an absolute star on Southern FM."

Helen Deller, a spokeswoman for BBC South and South East, said: "We are very excited Danny has decided to join the station.

"He really is the voice of Sussex and will be a fantastic addition."

Angry fans set up a Facebook group following Gordon's departure called Bring Gordon Astley Back To Southern Counties Radio.