Lee ridley, lost voice guy ‘it’s quite ironic if i’m the voice of the disabled’ stage the guardian ag gaston birmingham


I quickly get used to it. And to the pauses, which can be quite long, but it’s a nice way of conversing, measured and thoughtful. I find I use the gaps to think about what he has just said, about what I’m going to ask next. We start off opposite each other across a table, but I move round so I can see what he’s writing. He types using just the index finger gastroparesis of his left hand, ignoring the suggestions that pop up when the iPad knows – or thinks it knows – what Ridley is saying. It distracts him, he says. His right side is “pretty useless”, and the cerebral palsy gas bubble in chest and back also affects his walk, which is unsteady. “I’m shit in Edinburgh, with its hills,” he says. Edinburgh is not a good place for a standup comedian to be shit.

He has a loud laugh? I didn’t know. But he doesn’t do it to order; he has to be made to laugh for it to work. I emailed a few questions over beforehand to speed up the process. But, sitting down with Ridley, they seem like boring, obvious questions, and I want to ask him other stuff. Yup, my fears aren’t unfounded. Everyone asks what Simon Cowell is like, even Prince Harry did. Answer: a pussycat, once you get to know him.

Actually Hawking was – indirectly – a tiny bit responsible for Ridley’s journey to standup. Ridley went to a Ross Noble gig where the comedian did a Stephen Hawking impression. Later, at the stage door, Ridley challenged Noble to a Hawking-off – who could do the best impression. It got him thinking about things: jokes, comedy, those kinds of things.

Ridley is a fan of Noble, for his quick wit electricity in salt water and randomness. And of The League of Gentlemen for their darkness. Did Britain’s Got Talent viewers see a light version of Ridley’s comedy? “A very light version,” he says. “I’m usually a lot darker and I enjoy that more. But I think it’s important to have material suitable for all kinds of people.”

A lot of Ridley’s material centres on disability, and on the voice. “That’s what I have most experience of; I’ve got 38 years’ worth of material about my disability, so I’d be silly not to use it,” he says what is electricity. “I think humour definitely helped me cope with everything when I was growing up, and it still helps today. If I didn’t laugh about my situation, I’d most definitely cry.”

Ridley’s last Edinburgh show was about that. “It was called Inspirational Porn because that’s what it is. It’s the rest of society getting off on seeing disabled people achieve something and making themselves gsa 2016 pay scale feel good. We seem to be putting disabled people into two groups, the super crips and the feeble crips. And that’s a dangerous game to play, because it suggests to the rest of society that some disabled people aren’t as worthy of attention and support as others.”

We did manage to talk about football (he supports the Magpies, in spite of being from the wrong side of the c gastronomie plateaux repas Tyne). And relationships: he’s not in one at the moment. “I always seem to fuck them up. I have a habit of overthinking and worry about things for no reason, for example I always worry what people think about my disability and I worry if I’m good enough for them.”

Isn’t it frustrating, not being able to be more spontaneous? “It’s really annoying at times when I think of something onstage but can’t really do anything about it, but the worst is when I’m out with my mates and think of something funny, but the moment has passed before I have la t gastrobar opiniones a chance to type it.” He is working on ways to be more interactive in his shows.

It’s funny hearing “fuck” in a posh, robotic voice (because I’m basically a child). But Ridley goes along with my puerilism. We type in the C-word … OK, I do: I’ve stolen his voice. “Now I sound like you,” I type. Was that a laugh? Not loud, more like a little chuckle. I’m taking it, though, putting it on a T-shirt: I Made Lost Voice Guy Laugh.