Liam Neeson Lends Voice to Northern Ireland

Liam Neeson was awarded Honorary Freedom of Ballymena Borough, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Britain - 28 Jan 2013 Ballymena is rolling out the red carpet today in honour of one of its favourite sons.The globally acclaimed movie star Liam Neeson is awarded the Honorary Freedom of the Borough, the highest accolade which can be bestowed by Ballymena Borough Council and one which has, until now, been accorded to just three people.  (Rex Features via AP Images)

Liam Neeson was awarded the Honorary Freedom of the Borough in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, January 2013. (Rex Features via AP Images)

Liam Neeson has been a megastar for a while now, starring in action flicks like Taken and most recently Non-Stop, but he hasn’t forgotten where he’s from, Ballymena, County Antrim in Northern Ireland to be exact.

Sure, Neeson could sit around gabbing with his Hollywood pals, delighting folks with his Irish brogue, but instead, he’s putting his voice to better use and loaning it to the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB).

The Schindler’s List actor has agreed to provide his voice to Northern Ireland’s tourism initiative. Neeson said he was “delighted” to be invited to “promote the treasures of my homeland,” reports BBC News.

NITB’s Chief Executive, Alan Clarke, described having Neeson on board as a “high coup” and “significant vote of confidence in our tourism industry.”

The commercial feels almost like a movie trailer, focusing on the people of Northern Ireland with Neeson saying, “Places are made and measured by the people who live there. The locals.”

He goes on to describe local residents in his trademark slow, drawn out, sort of way with dramatic pauses aplenty, “The real deal. Honest to goodness sorts who live, work, play and have true pride in the place.”

You can watch the TV advert here.

NITB’s Chief Executive Alan Clarke said it was quite a coup to secure Neeson for the spot saying, “This marks the first step of a brand new direction for NITB, which will focus on the friendliness of our people and their ability to make a place memorable.”

The Tourist Board pointed out that Neeson was paid for his services but only a fraction of his fee. We’re guessing he probably would have volunteered his services but the organization didn’t want to accept something for nothing. Either way, it sounds like they figured out a nice compromise.

Do you want to go to Northern Ireland now? 

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