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What’s It Like Being a Comedian Without a Voice?

Lee Ridley Is Winning Big on Britain’s Got Talent Despite Cerebral Palsy

Lee Ridley (or “Lost Voice Guy”) lost his voice to cerebral palsy at only six months old, but that isn’t holding the 37 year old back. The stand up comedian was featured last night on Britain’s Got Talent live semi-finals, where he drew big laughs from the crowd.

Speaking on the challenges of dealing with cerebral palsy and having no ability to speak, Ridley says “It gets very frustrating when you have something to say but you have to type it out… If I think of something funny to say, by the time I’ve typed it out, the moment has gone.” There are other physical challenges, too. Ridley cannot do basic tasks, like opening a bottle, but he remains positive, saying “I get over it and get on with my life…. by getting up on stage, I’d like to think that I’m educating people that disabled people are just the same as everyone else.”

Well congratulations, Ridley, because last night your efforts were mightily rewarded. On Monday night on live television, Ridley made it through to the final of Britain’s Got Talent by receiving the most public votes for his gut busting routine. When asked what he would do with the prize purse if he wins, Ridley joked “I’d definitely not need to get the Megabus to gigs anymore!”

Congratulations Ridley, we’ll be rooting for you in the finals!

 

 

Sources: https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/6389320/britains-got-talent-semi-finalists-2018/ , https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/britains-talent-star-lost-voice-14715726

Commentary

Cerebral palsy can affect a person’s ability to finely coordinate the muscles around the mouth and tongue that are needed for speech. While some people with cerebral palsy may not be able to produce any sounds, others may be able to produce some sounds, but have difficulty making certain common sounds required for speech, resulting in speech that is difficult to understand. Approximately 1 in 4 people with cerebral palsy cannot talk. If a person has cerebral palsy and cannot speak, communication partner training, conductive education, eye-gaze technology, speech generating devices, and speech therapy for children are possible treatments that can help.

Source: https://research.cerebralpalsy.org.au/what-is-cerebral-palsy/how-cerebral-palsy-affects-people/