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My Tv Life: Lee Ridley


What was your first TV memory?

I’m not sure if it was my first, but one of the earliest memories etched into my brain is watching PJ getting paint in his eyes during a game of paintball on Byker Grove. It was a horrific experience for a child to watch and definitely put me off paintballing for life. 

Who was your first TV crush?

Probably Gillian Anderson in The X Files. The combination of her red hair, beautiful looks and the geekiness of her character Dana Scully was definitely my type of woman…and still is! And the best thing is that she still looks as good today. 

What was your first TV appearance?

I was in the audience of the old ITV Saturday morning TV show Gimme 5 if that counts! Nobby the Sheep is still my hero. But my first proper TV appearance was probably in a piece for The One Show, from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in about 2016.

What is your favourite current show?

I’m late to the party but I absolutely love watching Derry Girls.  It’s definitely one of the funniest things on television at the moment. It’s just so well written, with a great cast, and some of the subtle humour in it is great. And I love all the 80s references in it as well. 

Which TV show would you take to a desert island?

The League of Gentlemen, without a doubt. It’s so delightfully dark that sometimes I wonder if it was written specifically for me. Credit must go to all four of the gents for producing such a masterpiece of comedy. I could watch it over and over again and it’d never get any less funny. I love that they were making jokes out of stuff that was a bit weird and left-field. I was a teenager when I watched it first, so that was probably my introduction to the darker side of comedy. They opened my eyes to a whole new world.

What TV show would you like to put out of its misery?

I’ve never really got The Big Bang Theory. I just don’t find it funny at all. Obviously, it’s a successful show so it must be doing something right, but it’s just never appealed to me. It’s the one thing that I switch off straight away. Thankfully, it’s ended now, but please don’t ever bring it back! 

Guiltiest TV pleasure?

I love A Place In The Sun. I think everyone enjoys a bit of house porn from time to time. My favourite game while watching is trying to decide whether the people really do actually want to emigrate or whether they just wanted an excuse for a free trip abroad. You can usually tell by how much interest they take in the properties. 

What are you up to at the moment?

The paperback version of my book is out next week. It’s basically me answering all the stupid questions that I get asked about my disability. I’m sick of being asked ‘have you ever tried to talk, just to see what would happen?’ As if I had just been lazy all of my life and only putting it on to jump the queues at Disneyworld.

*I’m Only In It For The Parking by Lee Ridley (Corgi, £9.99) is published in paperback on Thursday {March 11th}


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