INTERVIEW: Lost Voice Guy | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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We caught up with comedian Lee Ridley, better known as Lost Voice Guy, to find out a little more about his new Radio 4 sitcom Ability, which has episodes 1, 2 and 3 available on BBC iplayer now, with the final episode airing Wednesday 23rd April at 11.30am.

Tell us about the new sitcom?
Ability is all about a disabled guy who can be a bit of a dick at times. So obviously it’s purely fictional! He’s called Matt and has just moved away from home for the first time, so this is his first taste of independence. He has moved in with his best friend Jess, who he also fancies a lot. He has a really rubbish carer called Bob. together they get up to lots of mischief. Mostly using Matt’s disability to their advantage, but things don’t always go as planned. It’s on on Radio 4 on Wednesdays at 11.30am during May. 

What inspired it?
I suppose it’s partly based on my own life and experiences, but I’ve definitely used artistic licence as well! Because I’ve never dealt drugs in my life….honest. I have had some very dodgy carers in my life though, so I think Bob is based on a mixture of all of those put together. And let’s face it, the stuff some people say to me is like being in a sitcom anyway, so material wasn’t hard to think of. 

What was it like going from stand-up to the world of sitcom?
It was a nice change actually. It was nice to have a number of characters to bounce off each other. Obviously you can’t do that in stand up. And I was very lucky to have a great writing partner in Katherine Jakeways. That was new to me as well, but it was good to have someone there to share ideas and stuff. I think it really helped make the sitcom much better and developed me more as a writer too. 

What’s next for the sitcom?
The feedback so far has been excellent so hopefully we might get a second series. There’s definitely a lot more that Matt, Bob and Jess can get up to. We’ll just have to see what happens. 

How’s your stand-up going?
My stand-up is going really well. I’m busier than ever at the moment so I think all my hard work is starting to pay off. I think my appearance on Britain’s Got Talent helped a lot, because it got my act out to a mass audience for the first time. I’ve been booked for gigs in Oslo and Paris since, so it’s an exciting time. 

You mentioned your Britain’s Got Talent appearance there, how’ve things been since doing that?
Things have been pretty crazy since I was on BGT. I’ve been drowning in phone notifications from people congratulating me on social media and stuff, and people have been stopping me in the street to say well done. So it’s quite bizarre really. I’m definitely enjoying the experience though. 

What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on my new show, Inspiration Porn, which I’m taking up to the Edinburgh Fringe this August. I’ll be at the Gilded Balloon at 4pm every day of the festival. And if you can’t make it to Edinburgh, I’m doing the show at Jason Cook’s festival at the Customs House in South Shields on Saturday 28 July. 

Ability plays on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesdays at 11.30am with episodes 1-3 available now.

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