Saturday 24 August 2019

Van Dyke reveals accent ribbing

Actor Dick Van Dyke starred in Mary Poppins
Actor Dick Van Dyke starred in Mary Poppins

Dick Van Dyke has revealed how much he is teased by his British fans for his accent in Mary Poppins.

The American star played a Cockney chimney sweep in the 1964 musical film and Dick said fans are not shy about telling him what they think of his London accent.

Speaking on the red carpet at the Princess Grace Foundation Awards in Beverly Hills, where he was given a lifetime achievement award for humanitarian work, the Diagnosis Murder star said he still faces ribbing from fans.

Asked about the project he looks back on most fondly, Dick said: "I probably had the most fun on Mary Poppins, every day was glorious, such fun.

"People in the UK love to rib me about my accent, I will never live it down. They ask what part of England I was meant to be from and I say it was a little shire in the north where most of the people were from Ohio."

He added that co-star Julie Andrews never said a word of criticism.

"I was working with an entire English cast and nobody said a word, not Julie, not anybody said I needed to work on it so I thought I was alright."

Walking the red carpet with wife Arlene, the 88-year-old actor said he was flattered by all the fuss and was particularly excited to meet Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco, who were attending the awards.

"It feels great, I don't get much attention so I get out and people applaud and I like that, I'm a ham.

"At my age if somebody remembers who I am it's very flattering. Meeting royaty is a new one on me, but I met the Queen once and she said she liked my show. That was back in the sixties when I was still on the air."

Asked what keeps him young, he replied: "My young wife, she puts me in the fridge."

The Princess Grace Foundation is dedicated to assisting emerging talents in the arts.

PA Media

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