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UCLan alumnus wins Britain’s Got Talent

UCLan alumnus wins Britain’s Got Talent Banner Image

Lee Ridley who has been chosen as the winner of Britain’s Got Talent

Journalism graduate Lee Ridley voted the winner of ITV’s national talent competition

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) alumnus has won Britain’s Got Talent (BGT).

Lee Ridley beat off stiff competition from thousands of people across the United Kingdom to take the top prize after impressing the voting public and celebrity judges with his comedy routine.

The journalism graduate performs as Lost Voice Guy. He has cerebral palsy and is unable to talk so uses a Lighwriter to speak. He was diagnosed with the condition after falling into a coma when he was six-months-old.

Winning BGT was an amazing feeling and it’s all a bit surreal at the moment. The final was an awesome night and I’m proud to have been part of it. I’ve come a long way since my days in Preston.

Lee studied on the BA (Hons) Journalism, at UCLan’s Preston Campus, between 1999 and 2002. After graduating, he was accepted on to the BBC News Sponsorship Scheme and undertook a one-year MA Online Journalism course at UCLan.

The 37-year-old, from Newcastle, said: “Winning BGT was an amazing feeling and it’s all a bit surreal at the moment. The final was an awesome night and I’m proud to have been part of it. I’ve come a long way since my days in Preston.

“I really enjoyed my time at UCLan. It was the first time being away from home and being totally independent, and I loved every minute of it. It certainly helped make me the person I am today and I wouldn’t swap those four years for anything.”

Lee has worked in a council's communications team, for the BBC in Newcastle and London as well as various local newspapers including the Sunday Sun and the Evening Chronicle.

He was encouraged to go into comedy by a friend and his first stand up performance was in February 2012. His comedy career soon rocketed with regular appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and gaining praise from highly acclaimed comedians. He also won the BBC New Comedy Award 2014 and has written a sitcom for BBC Radio 4.

Lee will now perform at the Royal Variety Show and receives £250,000.

Rachel Atkinson | 04 June 2018