Government Extends Invite to Ted Williams

January 7, 2011

alg_ted_williams_youtubeThe Minister of Business Development and Tourism Patrice Minors advised this morning [Jan 7] that steps are underway to bring the man with the “Golden Voice” to Bermuda.

Ted Williams was left homeless after his life was ruined by substance abuse. Until recently, he was living in a tent near a highway in Columbus, Ohio. However he quickly became an online sensation after a clip was posted of him demonstrating his voiceover skills while seeking hand outs.

Mr. Williams appeared on NBC’s popular morning programme the Today show yesterday (Jan 6) morning and in his account of his life and struggles, he highlighted that one of his fondest memories was visiting Bermuda in the 1970s.

Minister Minors, who like millions around the world has followed Mr. Williams’ amazing story, said she too was “moved” by his circumstances.

Minister Minors confirmed that moments after Mr. Williams’ appearance yesterday on the Today show, the Bermuda Department of Tourism’s (BDOT) New York representatives had contacted him with a view to extending an invitation for him to visit Bermuda.

Minister Minors said, “I must admit that when I saw his story, I too was moved by his life struggles and challenges. And how absolutely touching that he cited Bermuda and his memories of our beautiful Island as being a beacon of light in his life.

“This must be an overwhelming time right now for Mr. Williams with tens of millions of people being swept up in his story after viewing it via television and the web. So we can certainly appreciate that Mr. Williams is under an intense spot light right now.

“Spending some time to digest all that is happening in a place where he has fond memories could be a wonderful experience for him. So, in a gesture of kindness and good will, I can confirm that we have reached out to Mr. Williams to let him know that his story has deeply touched all of Bermuda.

“We would be pleased to welcome him, and it’s hoped that he will be able to visit the Island sometime in the near future.”

Mr Willaims original video, which gained over 10 million views in a few days, is below:

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Comments (41)

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  1. Darlene says:

    I think this is a great gesture by the Bermudian Government. I am sure that Mr. Williams will be very happy and greatful to spend time with his Mother in the place that brings him to wonderful memories as a child… I love a good story like this one… with an even better ending. God Bless you Mr Williams

  2. Todd says:

    Outstanding!

  3. True Dat says:

    I think that this is so cool:) I love good story with a happy endings!!

  4. Truth is killin' me says:

    Get him to sing “Bermuda is another world…” That would be a class act!!!

  5. 32n64w says:

    Nice job Minister Minors & the DOT.

  6. Scott says:

    i’m a bit sketchy about this. Love this man’s story, and wish him all the best.. but in my opinion this could go horribly wrong.

    perhaps im a cynic… but if his fondest memories are visiting Bermuda in the 70′s, i think he’s going to have a very rude awakening about the state of bermuda in the new millenium… If i was a fan of this place 40yrs ago on a tourist standpoint, i think i’d be mortified now.

    • Scott says:

      lol yeaaah i just sound like a party pooper

    • Save yourselves says:

      Wouldnt that be something. If whats left of our tourism is undone by a man under an overpass, we may as well just shut down all together.
      Very creative marketing idea by Tourism though. Shows times are changing.

    • Believer says:

      We don’t want to be responsible for sending him back to his old ways when he sees that this is NOT the same Bermuda as it was in the 70′s. LOL.
      But we have to reward him for his plug on the Today show.

    • Tigga says:

      If he didnt have ‘the voice’ then he would be just another addict who bravely kicked the habit. Too much is being made of him. He is no more of a role model than some of our own people who have cleaned up their lives. Lets call it what it is – a headline grabber for Bermuda Tourism.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Yes, a very heartwarming story. Nice to get a bit of a plug on NBC too. The reality is that the Bermuda he remembers in the 70s has very little resemblance to the Bermuda we have today.

      During my later years in tourism, got driven out in 2006, many multi time visitors voiced their dismay to me at how Bermuda had changed, & not for the better.

      While I think a trip here in thanks for his kind words is a good idea, I also fear that he will be disappointed in what he returns to.

    • RME says:

      @ Scott and Triangle – despite whether or not we think Bermuda mhas changed for the worse, think of where this guy has been the past 15 years or so and what he’s been through. I think he will be blown away (in a good way) when he comes to visit!
      Well done DOT.

  7. S says:

    Scott and Tigga….. glass half empty.. negative thinking.. stop hating and have some belief .. everyone needs to help ..

    • Scott says:

      everyone needs help?? i think you misread my comment.

      • Tigga says:

        Yeah – likewise! I have nothing but praise for this man kicking his habit. My point is that there are many men and women here and internationally that have done the same. The only difference is that this man has a marketable voice. His struggles past present and future are no different from any addict you will see on Bermuda’s streets. It is great for Bermuda piggy back on his new found fame, but will we be adding to the pressure that this obviously fragile man is experiencing? Will we really be helping him? He is clearly feeling the anxiety throughout his interviews.

  8. Sarah says:

    It’s a gesture that looks good to viewers following the story, that’s probably beneficial to Bermuda.

  9. Raymond L. Robinson says:

    Congrats BDOT, BTA(Dispatching)Ltd. would love to suply the airport transportation when Mr. Ted Williams decides to visit our beautiful island home. It would be our pleasure, that is the least we could do. http://www.taxibermuda.bm

    • I think Bermuda could show the world what our People are about when people come to visit us. POWELL’S MARINE LIMITED would love to have Mr Williams join us for a great day of fishing – pending weather !! Call us at 441-297-2244.

  10. Harry says:

    GEESUS … don’t the negative people ever get TIRED of being negative!? It sure wears me out. Who on this planet expects anything to be exactly the same as it was 40+ years ago. YAWN.

    ANYWAY, I think that is a SPLENDID idea BDOT (Patrice) … just be sure he comes during the spring/summer months.

  11. InTheKnow says:

    @ Above skeptics: Bermuda is very different from what she was in the 70′s(concession). But this guy – with this amazing story (internationally followed BTW) – was LIVING IN A TENT NEAR A HIGHWAY for many years, the last few reportedly sober. He endured staggering heat, frigid winters and lived without basic necessities like regular nutrition. Do you really think that Ted Williams will be disappointed by Bermuda? Really? No… Really?

    And the BDOT were kind of obligated to do this – its a marketing no-brainer. This story has so much up side for Bermuda.

  12. Um jus saying! says:

    Kudos to Mr Ted but come on GOVERMENT..Like really u recieved your reconigtion on NBC free advert, but to extend all expensed paid trip going a lil deep for me. we have a lot of homeless people here if afford the same opportunity and money they would be great at SOMETHING…LETS START HOME FIRST

  13. Malachi says:

    Have we all gone completely nuts??

    I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how Ted Williams visiting Bermuda is going to somehow improve our lot!

    Why don’t we simply invite all of the homeless alcoholics and junkies in the world to Bermuda so they can go back home and tell all their friends about beautiful Bermuda.

    It really amazes me that some people would go out of their way to bring this guy to Bermuda and at the same time, have no concern whatsoever for the homeless alcoholics and junkies we have here already.

    Bermuda is a funny place in that for whatever reason, we seem to think that foreigners are better. I worked in the international business arena for more than thirty years and that was certainly true!

  14. Real Talk says:

    Good grief, can’t a heartwarming story just be a heartwarming story!? Hats off to the BDOT for trying to make this happen.

    • Malachi says:

      One street person with a nice voice…………maybe it’s over my head, but ‘heartwarming’ ?

    • Allan G says:

      Too all the haters, I’m sure when he visited NYC where he hasn’t been in dozens of years there was change too! Just cause he was homeless in Ohio doesn’t mean the brotha didn’t see the world chaging. This was an educated professional man who happened to come to this present state b/c of some poor life choices. BDA would be a great time for he and maybe his fam to get some personal downtime as he’s become a sensation overnight.

  15. james S says:

    Tell him to bring a bullet proof vest!

  16. ABC says:

    This is such a fairy tale story.. I Love it- Ted Williams: The Good Lord heard your prayers.

    You know you critics on here are just looking for something to complain about. I hope Ted Williams comes to Bermuda.. Hell I’D pay for his trip here- he deserves it. He is living proof that you CAN turn your life around when your down and out. He used his talent to make some change on the side of a highway and look at him now.

    God has a plan for everyone.. this was his.. don’t hate on his moment. Look at his story, it has blown up for a reason, its a sign to each of us in these trying times to persevere and trust the Lord.

  17. Call as it is says:

    I KNEW ALL the Jesus Freaks would jump on this story!

  18. Yawn says:

    Good for this guy getting a lucky break

  19. White Jesus says:

    Maybe we could put him on a bullhorn and drive around to all the gang ‘turfs’ saying in that lovely voice, “get a job now losers and pull your pants up” “more after these messages”

  20. Eye in the sky ... says:

    Maybe one of the US radio/TV stations could come here and ‘discover’ Jinx ..
    Then maybe in an act of reciprocal interest and kindness they’d take him back to the US and off of our hands ….. tee hee

  21. Triangle Drifter says:

    I don’t think the media attention has overpowered him. Watched him on NBC a few mornings back. The guy was as easy in front of cameras as a pro with years & years behind him.

    He is far from the stereotype street person, with no education, no previous proffessional job. He made some bad choices in life & he knows & admits it. Whoever took the video & published it on You Tube gave him the biggest break in his life.

    The offers must be overpowering. Everyone, including Bermuda, wants a piece of him to help themselves. If he comes here what are the chances of him quietly slipping in & out without a Bermuda version of the papparatze following him around.

  22. Aaron says:

    I thought Government was watching or getting a hold of spending ??? So they gonna bring him to Bermuda???–Jus saying

  23. rick olson says:

    Great PR and maybe a gig with the Kennel Boys next time they are a man down !

  24. Arthur Raynor - Atlanta says:

    Well there can be good and bad coming out of this offer.
    He will without a doubt have U.S media coverage present on this trip as it is one of the biggest news worthy stories in a while outside of the hurricane which saw US media coverage present on the island.
    Good with the publicity, beautiful views of the island, attractions etc. and bad with the random shootings going on. Heaven help us if a shooting goes on in the area he is located with newshounds itching for stories.
    I can see the headline now ” Man with the Golden Voice narrowly missed getting shot in Beautiful Bermuda”

  25. myopinion says:

    Have you all lost your minds? I’m all for 2nd chances and applaud his 2 years of sobriety but do you even know this man? He has a criminal record a mile long! He has 9 children being raised by random people in the community. Do you honestly think praising him with a trip to Bermuda is the way to go? Does he really deserve an award? How about we give him the money for the plane ticket instead and introduce him to his fatherless children at an ice cream shop in Ohio? Bermuda has plenty of homeless people, junkies and fathers who abandom their children – if we are going to hand out awards, shouldn’t we hand them out to our own people first? (Yes, that’s sarcasm)

    Does Bermuda really want to exploit this guy just because he mentioned Bermuda on TV? We would be exploiting him – using him to supposedly better our tourism figures. Is this the message we want to send to possible future tourists? “Come to Bermuda – a beautiful island oasis that flies in criminals, junkies and horrible fathers for free!” That doesn’t sound like a place that I want to visit and spend my tourism dollars.

    And no, I’m not a hater. I’m a realist.

    • D Rock says:

      I agree. They all just want to jump on the bandwagon to see who gets him. What a shame!

  26. D Rock says:

    Very nice story and I am happy for him. The bottom line is that all these people are not truly interested in him but in their own interests. Even Patrice.

  27. Terry says:

    @myopinion, I agree.

    Just imagine if Ewart was still in charge.

    Hell….We’d have the Uighurs ’5′…

    Everest DaCosta better watch his back he could be soon up for replacement.