Lost Voice Guy Lee Ridley stuns Britain's Got Talent judges

A disabled comedian who developed his act while working for Sunderland city Council has wowed the judges on Britain's Got Talent.

Monday, 23rd April 2018, 3:00 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd April 2018, 3:06 pm
Lee Ridley performs on Britain's Got Talent

Lee Ridley has Cerebral Palsy, which has left him unable to talk, and uses an i-Pad to communicate.

He developed his act - Lost Voice Guy - while working as an online content manager in the council's media department.

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Lee programs routines into a voice synthesizer in his computer and selects which bits to use based on audience reaction.

Viewers saw him sweep the board on Saturday night's audition show, getting the thumbs-up from all four judges, including David Walliams who said it was one of the best stand-up routines he had ever seen.

Since leaving the civic centre to concentrate full-time on his stand-up career, Lee has become a popular performer at the Edinburgh Fringe, written a BBC Radio 4 show called Ability, and been named the BBC New Comedy award winner in 2014.

The former Barbara Priestman School pupil has also told jokes and presented motivational speeches for a range of organisations, including Communication Matters, Find a Voice, the Royal College of Nurses, Percy Hedley School and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

And he has been appointed patron of North East children's charity Smile For Life, which works and hopes to show others that disability should not be an obstacle to success - and use his role to get more disabled young people involved in comedy and performing.

Other acts to make it through on Saturday included dance troupe Rise, who performed to a medley of Ariana Grande songs less than a year after member Hollie Booth was injured in the bombing of the star's Manchester show; priest Father Ray Kelly, whose moving rendition of REM's Everybody Hurts was one of Simon Cowell's 'favourite ever auditions', and rocking pensioner Jenny Darren, who sang AC/DC's Highway to Hell.

The episode, which was recorded in January, marked Ant McPartlin's first appearance on the nation's TV screens since he was banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000 for driving while more than twice the legal limit earlier this week.

After McPartlin, of Chiswick, west London, was charged, ITV announced the Saturday Night Takeaway host would step back from his TV commitments, with co-presenter Declan Donnelly presenting the final two episodes of the show on his own.

While he is currently appearing in the pre-recorded auditions, ITV confirmed Donnelly will host the Britain's Got Talent live shows without his TV partner of almost 30 years.