Frankie Poullain’s shoes have been filled…

The Darkness have confirmed that their new bassist will be RICHIE EDWARDS.

Edwards, who until joining the band full time had been the guitar tech for Dan Hawkins, was rumoured to be joining last month.

In a statement, Justin Hawkins said: “Richie’s a good laugh and he’s really good at playing bass, and at this stage that’s all that matters.”

Edwards added “It’s difficult to put into words just how incredible it is. Music has been my life forever, and the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do is be in a band. After years spent trying to ‘make it’, in your late twenties you assume it’s not going to happen and to be thrown this lifeline, to finally be given this opportunity… It’s awesome – I just feel very lucky.”

According to the band’s official website, the band auditioned a number of possible replacements, before deciding on Edwards, who was born in Lichfield near Birmingham.

Poullain left the group in March, claiming he was “forced out”.

“Against my wishes I have been forced out of the group,” he explained. “At The Darkness HQ, where Justin and his partner (The Darkness manager, Sue Whitehouse) reside, I have gradually been frozen out over a long period of time. The reason for this is not yet clear – certainly nothing to do with Justin’s solo album which I think is a great idea. In any case it’s inevitable the truth will come out in the end.”

The bassist, who vowed to return with his own project, added that work on The Darkness’ new album had been progressing well.

“On a more positive note, the second album is incredible,” he explained. “Co-written by Justin, Dan and myself, I’m convinced it is destined to be a huge success.”