The 2018 Britain's Got Talent champ discusses his new show I'm Only In It For The Parking
Lee Ridley aka Lost Voice Guy brought his bountiful comedic charms to a wider audience when he scooped the first prize on ITV's prime talent show. Currently touring the nation, the Geordie comic tells us about funny t-shirts, fielding curious questions and that unique stage voice
What was your initial goal when you entered Britain's Got Talent and what have been the tangible benefits of having gone and won the thing?
The main reason I decided to audition was obviously to meet Ant and Dec, but I also did it because I thought it would help me develop as a performer. A lot of my comedy idols have stepped out onto that stage at the Hammersmith Apollo, so I thought it would be nice to follow in their footsteps. I made some really good friends by doing the show, and the reaction from the general public was phenomenal. Of course, I never expected to win it. In fact, I had to cancel my summer holiday because it clashed with the final. It was definitely worth it though. I think the look on my face when I won said it all. One of the best things to happen since I won is that people are engaging with me a lot more than they would have in the past. For the first time they seem comfortable talking to a disabled person. I'm used to being stared at for negative reasons so it's nice to be stared at for positive reasons for a change.
You communicate through an iPad synthesiser app which turns your written words into a posh man's voice. What made you pick that particular voice for representing yourself in comedy?
To be honest, I didn't have much choice. The app I use to speak only had a limited number of voices to choose from, and my particular voice was the best of a bad bunch. I'm quite used to sounding like a posh version of RoboCop now though, and I think the posh accent makes my jokes even funnier. I've sounded like this for most of my life now, so I do think of it as being my own voice. I think I'd feel weird if I had to change it now.
Do you have an inexhaustible number of amusing t-shirts? Will you get more done up for the tour?
My t-shirts are always very popular and everyone wants to buy one, so I'm looking forward to showing some new ones off on the tour. The original idea to wear t-shirts was because I thought it would help me stand out a bit more from other comedians and get a laugh before I'd even said anything. But now they've taken on a life of their own. My favourite one is still my original one. I wore my 'I'm only in it for the parking' one for my very first gig.
What have been the weirdest reactions you've received from an audience?
You would be surprised at how many people come up to me after gigs and ask if I really can't speak. Because, of course, it would totally be acceptable to pretend to be disabled for a laugh. I can safely say that I have never been able to talk. I've lived in Newcastle all my life, but for some reason I still haven't picked up the accent. However, if you are trying to place my accent, it's from PC World.
Lost Voice Guy: I'm Only In It For The Parking is on tour until Tuesday 30 April.