ILLNESS has forced voiceless comedian Lee Ridley to cancel his show at the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Lee, who works for Sunderland City Council as an online content manager, has cerebral palsy and cannot speak.
He was admitted to hospital in Edinburgh last week after being struck down with pneumonia.
Performing under the name Lost Voice Guy, the 32-year-old is the first stand-up to deliver his comedy routine using an iPad.
Lee has been tickling the funny bones of audiences across the UK, since making his debut at Mission in Sunderland in February last year.
The funnyman took to Twitter to tell disappointed fans: “Due to being in hospital with pneumonia. I won’t be performing my EdFringe shows until further notice. I am so sorry.”
Lee, who is still being treated by doctors, joked: “And yes, I do find it ironic that my disability has stopped me doing a show about doing stand-up despite my disability.” He picked up glowing reviews as he brought his debut solo show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe earlier this month and was due to take to the stage again on Sunday at Edinburgh’s Stand Comedy Club.
Before his scheduled performance was cancelled, Lee said: “I’m really looking forward to it. People tend to stare and laugh at me anyway. At least this way there’s a scheduled time and place for it.
“I’ve always loved making people laugh so I’ve enjoyed my last 18 months as a comedian. It’s a dream come true really – one that I never thought would happen.”
The show, nominated for best new show at the Leicester Comedy Festival earlier this year, saw Lee poke fun at his disability, with his darkly comic stand-up routines.
Described as “a wonderful comedian” by Little Britain’s Matt Lucas, Lee has since warmed up for his hero Ross Noble and fellow North East comedian Jason Cook following his first performances, which were held on Wearside.