Lost Voice Guy, Comedian With Cerebral Palsy, Wins 'Britain's Got Talent'
Walking onto the “Britain’s Got Talent” stage for the last time, Lee Ridley, better known as Lost Voice Guy, sported a blue T-shirt reading, “I was disabled before it was popular.” Ridley, who is a standup comedian with cerebral palsy, won the talent show on Sunday.
Ridley is the show’s first comedian winner, and his delivery of lines was different from other comedians. Ridley’s routines were filled with self-deprecating jokes, all voiced by a slightly robotic British voice through a voice automator on his iPad.
Ridley lost his voice 37 years ago, hence his stage name. In his audition, Ridley made jokes such as, “You may be able to tell, I’m a struggling standup comedian who also struggles to stand up.”
In the season finale, Ridley competed against Robert White, a comedian on the autism spectrum.
“It feels particularly subversive that White and [Lost Voice Guy] did not shy away from disability as part of their acts,” Frances Ryan, a contributor for The Guardian wrote. “LVG…relentlessly skewered perceptions of disability and the awkwardness that often surrounds non-disabled people’s interaction with it.”
On Twitter, fans congratulated the comedian and came to his defense when some said he won on sympathy. Fans also reminded people that people with disabilities aren’t inspirations just because they live with a disability.
— alex (@volcanoes_) May 28, 2018
— ????♿Nat Wheely Costin????♿ (@natcostin1) June 3, 2018
#BGTFinal don't you dare try to shut down the Lost Voice Guy by claiming he won due to sympathy. Being disabled means you have to work ridiculously hard just to be heard as who you are. Don't try to take this away from him. He is talented, funny & worthy and that's why he won!
— Amy R (@marleymeloy) June 3, 2018
Yay for the fact that a disabled comedian is going to win #bgt but anyone who says they are inspirational etc deserves my stick round their head !!!
— Rob Gilbert-Warsop (@robpw2) June 3, 2018
Thrilled that @LostVoiceGuy won #BGT It's proving that society is starting to see disabled people as equals, at last. This guy won not thro a sympathy vote, No, coz he is hilarious. We were crying laughing!
— Victoria Lewin (@VALewinAuthor) June 4, 2018
Ridley takes home the top prize of 250,000 pounds, equivalent to over 330,000 U.S. dollars. He will also get to perform in the Royal Variety Performance.