Britain's got Talent winner Lee Ridley, who is best known as Lost Voice Guy, has found a new voice with a Geordie accent.
The comedian from Consett in County Durham has cerebral palsy and is unable to speak. He currently uses a machine to communicate but being proud of his North East roots, wanted to have a local accent.
Lee put an appeal out for a 'voice donor' and said he was overwhelmed by the incredible response from people offering to help.
In his search to find the perfect Geordie accent, Lee has spent the last month listening to almost 500 potential donors from across the Newcastle area.
In the hunt to find his new accent - each person who applied was asked to read a short extract from Lee's book, titles 'I’m Only In It For The Parking'.
Lee then listened to each entry to select the voice that he felt best suited his regional and family accent.
I’m very excited to finally be getting a Geordie accent, so I can sound more like my family and friends.
Lee said he couldn't believe how many people wanted to offer their voice to him.
He said: "I had a great response to my request for a voice donor. In fact, the number of people willing to help out blew me away. So, it was hard to choose the voice that I thought suited me best.
But, in the end, Dan’s voice was the one that I kept coming back too and listening to over and over again. Thankfully, my family agreed with my choice too. I can’t wait to get started on the project with Dan and CereProc, and I look forward to you all hearing my new Geordie accent soon.
After much consideration Lee has chosen a Voice Over Artist called Dan Pye as the person who will provide the new Geordie accent for his communication device.
Dan grew up in Whickham, Newcastle upon Tyne and is currently living in Hunwick, County Durham. As a Voice Over Artist he said it is an honour to work on a project that will make such a difference.
He said: “I spend much of my life lending my voice to fictitious characters for a range of projects, the idea of being able to lend my voice to an actual human is just such an honour at the best of times, but when that individual is as inspirational as Lee, it’s an even greater one.
"Being able to help Lee communicate in a tone which is more personal to him is fantastic. Being a Geordie has a very distinctive, nationally recognisable tone which I am very proud of."
Dan says he hopes the new local accent will give Lee a sense of identity that the 'North East are famed for'.
Tone of voice accounts for so much of our ability to communicate, I’m so thrilled to be able to help provide that element of effective communication to Lee.
The new voice will be used for Lee to perform his stand-up comedy gigs, when they are able to resume after lockdown.
Dan joked that it will be nice to hear his own voice being funny for once.
He said: "I’m happy that being a donor in this sense means I don’t have to be cut apart, and I get to witness Lee’s performance using my voice. Which is going to be strange I must admit. It will be nice to hear myself tell jokes that are actually funny… “
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