Sutton DJ is the top of the pops

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A SUTTON DJ who has been the voice of a Derbyshire radio station for the past seven years has been voted ‘king of pop’ by listeners.

Thirty-five-year-old Leighton Morris’s morning slot on High Peak Radio scooped Best East Midlands Breakfast show after a poll of listeners organised by media news website, Merry Kova.

Said Leighton: “We were really pleased to have won especially considering the level of competition. It’s very pleasing after all the work that was put into the shows - we are only a little radio station but we are still able to compete.”

His radio career began when he joined King’s Mill Hospital Radio’s team aged 16. Since then, he’s worked for Mansfield 103.2, the BBC and stations based in Birmingham.

“I think I was born with a pair of headphones on my head,” he said. “It’s always been a dream of mine to entertain people for a living. I haven’t got the face for TV, so that’s why it had to be radio!”

Leighton, who lives with partner Rebecca and their son William, said his career highlights included interviews with the likes of TV favourite Des O’ Connor, comedian Lenny Henry and X Factor star Olly Muirs.

Added Leighton: “Des O’Connor was a lovely guy. Most of the interviews have to be done over the phone because with us being based in the middle of nowhere, not many celebs pass through our area.”

Leighton said one of the hardest things about his job was the 80-mile round trip to the studio in Buxton - a journey which requires him to get up at 4am on weekdays - but he says having the prestigious breakfast show slot makes it all worth while.

Said Leighton: “I think if I can make people smile I’m doing the right thing. I spend a lot of time coming up with new ideas to keep listeners thinking about the show - and about me I suppose.”

The DJ said he was influenced by Radio 2’s Steve Wright but he was also a big fan of American radio stations.

“Long term, my dream is to head across the Atlantic and find work in America. I absolutely love the American style.”

His show will be pitted against the other regional winners later this year to crown the www.merrykova.co.uk national winner.