Street poet Matt has Nationwide stage thanks to TV ad filmed in Leeds

Matt Abbott.
Matt Abbott.
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He’s the Yorkshire poet whose gift of the gab has made him a star of a new TV advertising campaign.

Matt Abbott, 27, from Wakefield, is one of three spoken word artists who feature in the Voices of the People campaign for the Nationwide Building Society.

Matt’s advert was shot in the Hyde Park area of Leeds and shows him delivering a self-penned poem in streets near the Royal Park pub and Brudenell Social Club.

The minute-long commercial is currently running during some of TV’s biggest programmes and has had more than a MILLION views online.

Matt’s brief was to come up with a poem reflecting the importance of a place to call home.

And, fittingly enough, the ideas for the piece used in the advert started to take shape while he was round at his mum’s house.

Matt, formerly part of indie band Skint & Demoralised, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It was just simple stuff, really. Cups of tea, the Sunday roast, that kind of thing.

“I didn’t have to research anything, they were personal memories.

“I didn’t see it as advertising Nationwide, it was more about getting my work out there and hearing some poetry on the TV, which has made a nice change.”

Matt also revealed that he would have turned down the offer to appear if the ad had been for a bank rather than a building society.

“I have always been a socialist and a lot of what I do is based around my politics, so advertising a bank would be pretty much career suicide,” he said.

Matt was picked for the advert through his performances at arts festivals with a project called The Poetry Takeaway.

Explaining the thinking behind the campaign, Nationwide chief marketing officer Sara Bennison said: “These ads provide an opportunity for Nationwide to go back to its roots in a powerful, authentic and thought-provoking way while giving people a voice on the things that matter most in their lives.”

Here is Matt’s poem from the advert, entitled This Place Is Ours.

Dogs daft as brushes dance on doormats.

A hero’s welcome lifts your heavy heart.

Dads dance to dad bands, on old fashioned formats,

centuries since they played them in the charts.

Mum’s Sunday roast cures a week’s worth of famine:

a plate full that’s the highlight of your week.

Boxes full of baby pics you pray she won’t examine;

chuckling as she pinches at your cheek.

Dressing gowns past dinner time on a drizzly afternoon.

Cups of tea, in your favourite faded mugs.

Made up languages, silly little tunes.

The simplicity of tears met with hugs.

Meandering home in the early hours,

belting out Brit Pop to wheelie bins and flowers,

where memories enlighten and comfort devours:

at home in the world, this place is ours.