A present perfect story: Viral video has saved the radio star

Through a globally famous story, we can see how to use the Present Perfect tense. A homeless man who has lived on the streets of Cleveland, USA for years, has shot to fame, after a clip of his mellifluous radio voice went viral on the internet.

Ted Williams, was filmed by a local cameraman holding a cardboard sign that read: “I’m an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times”. Williams is seen in the video asking for money in exchange for a quick blast of his “God-given voice”. Now that the video has had millions of hits on YouTube, Williams, has become an overnight sensation.

He has spent today appearing on talk shows across America, sporting a new haircut and a smarter appearance than on the clip that made him famous.

Since his story broke, he has received numerous job offers from big broadcasting names including ESPN, MTV, ABC, CBS and CNN and The Cleveland Cavaliers. Williams has been on the streets for years and has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for years.

The story of the “homeless man with the golden pipes” has lifted the spirits of a recession-hit nation in the week that it has returned to work after the Christmas holidays. However, the instant hero has attracted so much attention that reporters have started digging into his background and they have discovered that Williams has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for years and has pressed the self-destruct button previously in his life. Asked if the media storm around him may cause him to relapse into addiction, he said, “I’m going to meetings and I have called my sponsor.”

Accusations have also surfaced that Williams acted as a pimp during his years on the streets. In response, Williams said, “Don’t judge a book by its cover – everyone has their own little story. I’m just so thankful. God has blessed me deeply. I’m getting a second chance. Amazing.” There are fears though that Williams will not be able to cope with his new status as an instant hero.

They say that he will be a flash in the pan and his fairytale story is being used by the media to reinforce American Dream propaganda, at a time when America is in serious economic difficulties and the gap between the rich and poor is rapidly increasing.

Present Perfect have / has +  past participle

Amongst other uses, we use the present perfect when we are thinking about the past and present together. EX:

  • My brother has learnt German (He can speak German now after studying in the past)
  • Reporters have discovered that he has struggled with alcohol. (The reporters did an action in the past and now we have a result in the present, which is the knowledge of the alcohol addiction)

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