BGT winner Lost Voice Guy is ‘an inspiration’ says Paralympian

Michael McKillop pictured after winning 1,500m gold at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar in 2015. Picture by Marcus Hartmann / SPORTSFILE
Michael McKillop pictured after winning 1,500m gold at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar in 2015. Picture by Marcus Hartmann / SPORTSFILE

Paralympic hero Michael McKillop has hailed Lost Voice Guy’s Britain’s Got Talent win as “a huge positive for people with a disability, especially people with cerebral palsy.”

The funnyman, who has cerebral palsy and uses pre-recorded sentences on a computer for his stand-up act, wowed the judges, crowd and the voting public in Sunday night’s live final.

Lost Voice Guy during the audition stage for ITV1's talent show, Britain's Got Talent. Pic by Tom Dymond/Syco/Thames/PA Wire

Lost Voice Guy during the audition stage for ITV1's talent show, Britain's Got Talent. Pic by Tom Dymond/Syco/Thames/PA Wire

The 37-year-old, real name Lee Ridley, took the £250,000 first prize and won the chance to perform at the Royal Variety Performance.

The Newcastle man said he was “blown away by the support of the judges and the general public.”

Reacting to his incredible win, multi gold medal winning runner McKillop, who has a mild form of cerebral palsy and had problems with his speech when he was younger, described Lost Voice Guy as “an inspiration.”

“It is very impressive that he had the confidence to go up there and perform like that and take on all those other top acts, regardless of the way he looks or the way people perceive him.

“Although he can’t speak he showed that he is very witty, very smart and very funny.

“He has showed that despite his disability he can compete at the top level, and it’s great that he won and now gets to go and perform at the Royal Variety Performance.

“I think this will give other people with a disability, especially people with cerebral palsy, a bit more belief that they can go on and achieve, regardless of their disability.”

McKillop, who is hoping to defend his Paralympic 1,500m title one last time in Tokyo in 2020, admits he thought Vietnamese acrobats the Giang brothers would have won the show, but said he was delighted when Lost Voice Guy got the public’s vote.

“It was great to see and I think he is a real inspiration to people who would struggle with their confidence and their speech. For more severely disabled CP (cerebral palsy) people I think this is a great boost to see this and to see that their disability isn’t seen as a massive hurdle that can’t be overcome anymore.

“It’s great that he’s now taking the world by storm and that he’s potentially going to go on and be a comedy superstar now.”

The 28-year-old athlete from Newtownabbey, who won gold at the Paralympic Games in Beijing, London and Rio, went on to describe Lost Voice Guy’s success as “another step towards bridging the gap between disabled and able bodied.”

“I think this will help bridge that gap, not only in the world of comedy and entertainment, but also in everyday life,” he said.

Eleven acts battled it out in the live final of the hit ITV talent show, with Lost Voice Guy taking victory ahead of comic Robert White and singer Donchez Dacres, who finished third.

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