Lost Voice Guy Lee Ri­d­ley on his Royal Va­ri­ety Per­for­mance

BGT win­ner Lost Voice Guy, aka comic Lee Ri­d­ley, on his joy at per­form­ing for the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex

TV Times - - My Tv Times Week - Tess La­macraft

The Royal Va­ri­ety Per­for­mance Tues­day / ITV / 7.30Pm

Co­me­dian Lee Ri­d­ley, best known as Lost Voice Guy, shot to fame ear­lier this year af­ter be­ing crowned the cham­pion of Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent, win­ning the votes, and hearts, of the na­tion with his hi­lar­i­ous stand-up rou­tines.

Since then, Lee’s life has been a whirl­wind, and this week he gets to per­form for the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex at the Lon­don Pal­la­dium in this year’s Royal Va­ri­ety Per­for­mance, one of his prizes for win­ning BGT.

Lee, 37, who has a neu­ro­log­i­cal form of cere­bral palsy and uses a textto-speech app to com­mu­ni­cate, tells TV Times why it’s a dream come true…

BGT Did you watch The Royal Va­ri­ety Per­for­mance as a child?

Yes, we al­ways watched it to­gether as a fam­ily when I was lit­tle. A lot of my he­roes have per­formed at the Lon­don Pal­la­dium, so it’s amaz­ing to be fol­low­ing in their foot­steps.

Can you give us any hints about what your rou­tine will in­volve?

It will be cheeky, mis­chievous and, most of all, funny. There may be one or two jokes es­pe­cially for the Duke and Duchess! I can’t wait to meet them. They’re def­i­nitely the coolest Roy­als at the mo­ment. I just hope they like my jokes or I might end up in the Tower of Lon­don!

Take That, Rick Ast­ley and the leg­endary An­drea Bo­celli and his son Mat­teo are also per­form­ing this year. Who are you most ex­cited about meeting? I’m look­ing for­ward to meeting Take That. I’m se­cretly hop­ing they’ll let me be the new Rob­bie Wil­liams and we can have a No.1 hit to­gether. I’ve got a great singing voice, af­ter all! And

I’m ex­cited about meeting co­me­dian Greg Davies, who’s host­ing the evening. I’ve al­ways loved his stand-up.

How ner­vous will you be on stage? It’s go­ing to be nerve-rack­ing. Never in my wildest dreams did I ex­pect to be per­form­ing in front of the Royal Fam­ily. It’s been a great year for me and this is go­ing to be the ic­ing on the cake. I just hope I don’t hit the wrong but­ton and swear in front of Harry and Meghan.

Have the Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent judges, Si­mon Cow­ell, David Wal­liams, Amanda Holden and Ale­sha Dixon, given you any tips? Yes, I got in­vited to Si­mon’s Sum­mer party and David came to see my show at the Ed­in­burgh Fes­ti­val Fringe. He’s given me some good ad­vice about my com­edy ca­reer, which I’m very grate­ful for.

Has win­ning Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent com­pletely changed your life? Mas­sively! Win­ning the show has opened a lot of doors for me. I’m go­ing on a big UK tour next year and I’m writ­ing a book called I’m Only in It for the Park­ing, which has al­ways been a dream of mine. Next year is go­ing to be even busier – I’m writ­ing an­other se­ries of my Ra­dio 4 sit­com Abil­ity. I just hope my bat­ter­ies don’t run out in be­tween all of that.

What do peo­ple say to you when they see you out and about?

I get recog­nised a lot, es­pe­cially in my home city of New­cas­tle. Mostly it’s peo­ple ask­ing for self­ies and con­grat­u­lat­ing me on my suc­cess. I’m re­ally flat­tered by it all – it’s lovely that peo­ple want to chat and I ap­pre­ci­ate ev­ery­one’s sup­port. I said I’d get a new Ge­ordie ac­cent for my tablet if I won BGT, but I haven’t yet. I still sound like a posh ver­sion of Robo­cop!

Lee’s UK tour starts at Lon­don’s Soho The­atre on 23 Jan­uary 2019 and runs until 30 April 2019. See lostvoiceguy.com/gigs for de­tails

Guests: Harry and Meghan

First place: Lee win­ning

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