From gutter to the stars: Tramp with golden voice an overnight sensation
A homeless man whose deep, velvety radio voice and touching story prompted an outpouring of sympathy and job offers from across the country has become an overnight sensation in the US.
On Thursday, Ted Williams, who was living in a tent near a highway in Columbus, Ohio, just days ago, was in New York for an emotional reunion with his 90-year-old mother, media appearances, and to do some commercial voiceover work.
Williams and his compelling tale about how he was left homeless when his life and radio career were ruined by drugs and alcohol, became an online sensation after The Columbus Dispatch posted a clip of him demonstrating his voiceover skills while begging by the side of the road.
Williams has now been offered a job by the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, and the 53-year-old is being pursued by NFL Films and others for possible work.
On NBC's Today show, he described his previous 48 hours as "outrageous".
"There's no way in the world that I could have ever imagined that I would be - I mean, just have all of this just all of a sudden come into this portion of my life," he said during a live interview.
"I don't know which one to choose, which one is the right one," he said, regarding the job prospects.
But he said he was ready to handle the second chance he was being given and predicted that in five years, he'd be working as a radio programme director and living in his own apartment. Williams said he found a "new sense of spirituality" in 2010 that would help him deal with whatever success comes.