TV AND radio star Toby Anstis says he can’t wait to hit the airwaves in Oxfordshire.

The former children’s TV presenter visited Oxford on Monday ahead of the launch of the commercial radio station Heart – the rebranded Fox FM – on Monday, March 23.

Fox FM, which began broadcasting Oxfordshire in 1989, is being renamed by its new owner Global Radio as part of a nationwide overhaul of its regional output, and Mr Anstis, 37, will be the new mid-morning presenter for the county.

He said: “I’m very excited and a little bit nervous. With the good people of Oxfordshire, there will be a level of expectation.”

Mr Anstis lives in London, but he said he had an affinity with Oxford, because his father met his mother while she was working as a nurse at the John Radcliffe Hospital and he was studying at Keble College.

He said: “In a funny way, my life started in Oxford, so to be able to broadcast to the city is quite cool.”

On Tuesday, Mr Anstis visited Oxford Children’s Hospital, which is supported by the radio station, and hosted a launch party at the Odeon Cinema, in George Street, featuring a showing of the hit musical movie Mamma Mia!

He said: “I’m really keen to see the good work the radio station is doing out in the community.”

Following the buy-out by Global Radio, all existing Fox FM-only programming, which includes slots hosted by local DJs Adam Ball, Matt Brown, Simon Ross and Giselle Ruskin, is being maintained.

But by picking up centralised shows broadcast from London, Fox FM programme controller Mark Sadler said he was hoping to offer listeners in Oxfordshire something extra.

He added: “It’s fantastic to have somebody like Toby.

“We really believe in the new brand and we’re looking forward to taking the fight to the BBC. It’s a real opportunity for us.”

Mr Anstis added: “We’re looking forward to taking on the BBC – and winning.

“I grew up listening to commercial radio and I have always loved the concept of radio. I landed in TV by accident. Radio is what I always wanted to do.”

In the 1990s, Mr Anstis hosted TV’s The Ozone and Challenge TV.

More recently he featured on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! and BBC 1’s Dancing in the Streets.

The DJ’s mid-morning show will be broadcast from Monday to Friday, between 10am and 1pm.

American singer Lionel Richie is already lined up as the first star guest on the programme.