Colin Firth lost his voice in youth

London: British actor Colin Firth, whose performance as the stammering monarch George VI in `The King`s Speech` is tipped to win an Oscar nod, says he identified with the royal as he too battled speech disabilities in his youth.

The `Mamma Mia!` star scooped the Best Actor prize at the British Independent Film Awards for the film which tells the story of the stammering monarch and his relationship with his Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue, reported Daily Mail online.

"I had vocal problems in my 20s. I had an injury on my vocal chord which had to be dealt with surgically. It wasn`t a stammer but it meant I couldn`t be heard properly. I lost my voice," said the 50-year-old actor.

"And I remember a voice therapist I was talking to said `don`t underestimate how debilitating it is`. People appreciate the problem of blindness and deafness and so on.

Not being able to speak properly to people, I think it`s underestimated the psychological damage it does," said Firth.