Much-loved actress and comedian Julie Waters, for eight years the voice of Lloyds TSB, is to become, literally, a national treasure. Almost. The ailing bank has been forced to sell an 85% in the Smethwick-born artiste to HM Government, making her the first actress to undergo near-total nationalisation. She is currently valued at £9.73 million.
“Celebrity voice overs are an incredibly important part of any TV commercial strategy” says advertising expert Pete Lampton. “Julie’s voice is friendly, reassuring, and very much of the people. Exactly what’s needed to personify the values of 21st century banking. ‘It’s for the journey’ is, in Julie's rendition, an intensely powerful message.”
Neither Ms Waters nor advertisers knew that the journey’s destination was massive indebtedness for the British public and financial misery for millions. It’s not known whether Ms Waters banks with Lloyds TSB, but Lloyds can no longer afford to bank on Ms Waters, who can command fees of £100,000 a day for praising the troubled bank in a much-loved Midlands accent.
Now, though, HM Government has employed top surgeons to work out how the 85% / 15% split will be achieved without damaging Ms Waters’ accent. It’s thought this means Lloyds will be left with a leg and some buttock, while the British taxpayer enjoys ownership of the rest of the much-loved Educating Rita star. Junior Treasury minister Jane Cowley emphasised that the taxpayer’s share of Labour-supporting Ms Waters will, after convalescence, be able to earn its keep for UK plc in the voice-over market. “Her considerable fees will help minimise the huge deficit left by the party the much-loved actress supported so passionately.”