Lost Voice Guy to take part in Great North Run in wheelchair

  • Watch Chris Conway's report

Lost Voice Guy, aka Lee Ridley, will compete in the Great North Run for the first time this year.

The Britain's Got Talent winner will be pushed in a wheelchair by four friends as he attempts to raise money for Smile For Life Children’s Charity.

The comedian suffers from a form of cerebral palsy leaving him unable to speak and affecting his movement.

The idea of being pushed around the half-marathon course initially started as a joke with his friends but soon escalated into an opportunity to raise money for charity.

Lee Ridley will be raising money for North East charity Smile For Life Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Speaking to ITV Tyne Tees after announcing he would run, Mr Ridley said: "I think its something every Geordie has to do at some point in their life. Obviously, I won't be running myself because I can hardly walk let alone run.

"I am also quite lazy, in fact, if laziness was a sport I'd come fourth so I wouldn't have to walk up to the podium.

"So I am having some friends push me in my wheelchair instead. I am very grateful to Paul, Lee, Ollie and Hannah.

"I promise to lay off the chocolate buttons until after the race!"

Smile for Life aim to improve the lives of young people with disabilities and learning difficulties across the North East.

They have two cafes, in Ouseburn and Gosforth, that work with 75 young people a week to pass on the skills needed to succeed in the world of work.

Paula Gascoigne from the charity said: "He's a brilliant role model for our youngsters, all of whom have a disability.

"Our charity is all about empowering these youngsters to achieve their goals and to demonstrate that there are no barriers and with the right support you can achieve your dreams."

Lee Ridley will be one of thousands particpating in the Great North Run this year. Credit: PA

Mr Ridley hopes that his actions can help inspire others, having had few disabled role models himself when he was growing up.

"When I was young I didn't have many disabled people I could look up to and admire," he explained. "I have got where I am despite all that.

"I'm glad things are changing a bit now but there is still a lot of work to be done until we are equals in society."

The Great North Run 2023 will take place will take place on 10 September with Mr Ridley joining thousands across the region in taking part.

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