One thing is certain in the north-south divide - southerners pay more for beer and housing.

So when a South Coast DJ found out live on air that his counterpart in Sunderland was earning £2 a day more than him, he took serious umbrage.

Alex Dyke walked out of the nightly North South Divided show on Chichesterbased Spirit FM in a blazing temper after an on-air row with colleague Mike Elliot.

Scores of listeners across Sussex and the South, who had tuned in for the humourous debate, listened in disbelief as Mr Dyke stormed out of the studio and headed straight home.

Father-of-three Mr Dyke, 39, left the show with two hours still to run and yesterday afternoon was refusing to return to the job unless his pay packet was upped to match.

Mr Dyke, known as "Big Al" is renowned for being outspoken and strong-willed and has walked out of the show before.

He said: "I'm angry with Mike but I'm fuming at the bosses. "I know it seems like a small amount but it's the principle of the thing.

"He and I had said we wanted to be paid the same amount."

Mr Elliott is given the extra £2 because he has to pay a toll to go through the Tyne Tunnel to work every day. But Mr Dyke, who is based on the Isle of Wight, said he had crossed the Solent several times last year to do the show on the mainland and had not been given any more money to cover the £35 ferry fee.

He said: "The ratings for the show are really good and I think the bosses would be mad not to have me back.

"It's their call. I am kind of known for my temper tantrums and I was suspended for a month after walking out once before.

"I am just waiting by the phone now for news from the management but it doesn't look good."

Spirit is one of 28 stations owned by The Local Radio Company (TLRC), which also runs Sovereign Radio in Eastbourne and Arrow FM in Hastings.

Gordon Davidson is TLRC's group programme manager. He said: "With that kind of show you don't want a wallflower, although there are times when you'd prefer one.

"Alex is an incredibly passionate man and some of the barneys he's had with Mike make fantastic radio but it does come at a price.

"We have had a chat and we are still in talks. If he doesn't come back for tonight's show it will be Mike by himself doing North Divided."