Dick Van Dyke has apologised for the “most atrocious cockney accent in the history of cinema” more than half a century after his role in the 1964 Disnery classic Mary Poppins.
The US actor played chimney-sweep Bert in the film, and has been the subject of much teasing from fans about his famously off-radar accent.
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Van Dyke, 91, was chosen this week by Bafta to receive the Britannia award for excellence in television. Speaking afterwards, he said: “I appreciate this opportunity to apologise to the members of Bafta for inflicting on them the most atrocious cockney accent in the history of cinema.”
The award will be presented at the 2017 AMD British Academy Britannia awards. Bafta’s Los Angeles chief executive, Chantal Rickards, said: “We look forward to his acceptance speech in whatever accent he chooses on the night. We have no doubt it will be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
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Van Dyke recently announced that he would be doing “a little song and dance number” in the Mary Poppins sequel. He will play the part of Mr Dawes Jr, chairman of Fidelity Fiduciary bank, alongside Emily Blunt as the nanny extraordinaire in Mary Poppins Returns.
Van Dyke rose to prominence in films including Bye Bye Birdie, Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as well...
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