Britain's Got Talent champ Lost Voice Guy is to headline Hartlepool's Waterfront Festival, it has been announced.
Stand-up comedian Lee Ridley, originally from Consett in County Durham, won the ITV show on a public vote with his hilarious routine that involves him using a voice synthesiser due to a form of cerebral palsy that has left him unable to speak.
He will perform on the Mainmast Stage from 3.45pm on Sunday July 22.
Councillor Kevin Cranney, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Regeneration Services Committee, said: “It is fantastic news that we have signed up Lost Voice Guy who was a huge hit on Britain’s Got Talent.
"We already had a great programme lined up and this is the icing on the cake.”
Following on from the success of the last year’s inaugural festival which attracted 15,000 visitors, the fun starts on Friday July 20 at 5pm and continues through until 5pm on Sunday July 22 at the Hartlepool Waterfront site within the town’s marina.
After bringing two “watery” classics to last year’s open-air cinema, the Council has this year decided to dedicate a full evening to films on Friday July 20.
The Friday Film Fest opens at 5pm with Finding Nemo followed by Boy and Bicycle and The Goonies.
The fun runs from 12-5pm on both Saturday July 21 and Sunday July 22 and there will be something to suit all tastes.
As part of the Greater Tees, Great Places project, the Stockton International Riverside Festival will be staging a warm-up procession with community groups working in Hartlepool.
The groups have been working with professional artists to develop costumes, music and performance as part of a huge site-wide procession to be held at 1pm on Saturday July 21 which will officially open the Hartlepool Waterfront Festival.
The Mainmast Stage’s programme focuses on music and family activities and offers two days of the acts including James Leonard Hewitson, Channy Thompson, North Road and Samantha Durnan, while the Jib Market is the festival’s pop-up party market that will play host to street food sellers, performers and entertainers.
Councillor Cranney added: “Building on the phenomenal success of 2017’s Art Garden, some of the region’s best working artists will this year come together on our Arts Beach to deliver free drop-in workshops.
“Last year artists directly engaged with over 2,100 people and we are hoping to double that figure this time around.”
Hartlepool Marina and OnWater Training are putting on a mini-programme of water-based activities, while the Quarterdeck area of the festival site is to host a series of fun attractions, including the solar-powered Sol Cinema, Circo Rum Ba Ba’s 50ft inflatable sperm whale and Bash Street Theatre’s hilarious family show Bellevue Hotel.
For more information visit www.hartlepoolwaterfrontfestival.co.uk