In troubled times of rising knife crime, trade disputes and Brexit, Simon Cowell and ITV came up with a perfect fillip for the country on Sunday night, with the Britain’s Got Talent final.
It was watched by nearly ten million viewers, the largest final audience in four years, and more than 2.5 million votes were cast.
And, for the first time in the history of the competition, a comedian won, with The Lost Voice Guy coming out on top.
Otherwise known as Lee Ridley, 37, from Newcastle, his act is quite simply unique. Ridley suffers from cerebral palsy and as a result lost the power of speech, and performs his act using a voice synthesiser.
From his original audition, his journey throughout the competition has been a joy to watch.
His act is hilarious, and a lot of his humour pokes fun at himself, but in a very tasteful manner.
The final was even made more groundbreaking with Ridley’s runner up, and the bookies favourite, fellow comedian Robert White, who has Asperger’s.
In his own way, White was extremely funny and entertaining and it came as no surprise that between them they polled over 40 per cent of the total vote.
But ultimately for me the wonderful thing was that one of the biggest entertainment shows on television ended up with a top-two that society might class as disabled, yet they were by far and away the best two acts in the competition. At no point watching their performances were their disabilities a factor.
It speaks volumes for how this country has developed in such a positive way.
A deserved winner, Ridley now pockets £250,000 and a spot on the Royal Variety Performance in November.
I’m sure a career that will entertain millions of people the length and breadth of the country, and also act as an inspiration for many people, will duly follow.
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