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Dick Van Dyke Explains Bad Cockney Accent in 'Mary Poppins' (VIDEO)

by Aimee Deeken, posted Nov 5th 2010 8:40AM
Dick Van Dyke Talks 'Mary Poppins' on 'Late Late'Britons have long mocked Dick Van Dyke's cockney accent in 'Mary Poppins.' How could the actor possibly think it qualified as cockney?

Mystery solved! "They gave me a coach who was Irish -- Pat O'Malley," said Van Dyke when he appeared on 'The Late Late Show' (weeknights, 12:37AM ET on CBS). Ah, so he sounded more like an Irish chimney sweep. Craig Ferguson was shocked: "That explains everything!"

The host then wondered if Van Dyke, a Malibu resident, ever went surfing. Oh yes, years ago, but not too successfully. In fact, on one excursion the actor coasted too far from land. Good thing some friendly porpoises helped him out. True story.

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Nobody who isn't British would even notice anything about his accent; that's not what makes the movie.

November 06 2010 at 4:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

His accent was ok especially for a film aimed at children. We (my family) didn't care about his accent and we were born in London!

November 06 2010 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Dick's cockney accent was at least understandable even if it was off the mark. Cockneys are those born within the sound of Bow Bells. Growing up in wartime Britain, many cockney kids were evacuated to my area as their homes were heavily pounded by Hitler's bombers. I never did completely understand their use of the English language, their dialect was light years away from my own.
Now the cockney dialect has been watered down and it permeates entire regions outside of London, making dialect one mish mash of whining accents. Dick did OK!. Rather his accent than the one now slaughtering the once regional dialects of England.

November 06 2010 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is the United States of America, people. What American citizen actually cares of your faux accent as accurate? Whoopity F$%#ing shit!

November 06 2010 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not as bad as Kevin Costner in Robin Hood.

November 06 2010 at 2:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ol Bob

Always liked Dick Van Dyke, but when I saw Mary Poppins, I thought: "What the hell is the matter with that director?".

November 06 2010 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Susan Stephens

Let's not forget Jerry Van Dyke. Very funny in everything from guesting on the old Dick Van Dyke Show to costarring in Coach. Would like to have seen more of him.

November 06 2010 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Susan Stephens's comment

Yes, forget Jerry Van Dyke! The title of the article is, "Dick Van Dyke Explains Bad Cockney Accent in 'Mary Poppins'", the theme of the article is the same, and the interview clip is with Dick Van Dyke, not Jerry. So, yeah, forget Jerry Van Dyke for now. This isn't about him.

November 06 2010 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I LOVE Dick VanDyke. Classy man. I have never heard him berate anyone. He has had his ups and downs in his life, personally and professionally, but I always see him smiling in his pictures and laughing in interviews. This man is a true star. Today's celebrities are just 'actors'.

One more thing...Thank you and GOD bless those porpoises.

November 06 2010 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

With the outrageously good and funny performance he gave in "Mary Poppins," who gives a damn about the accent. Julie Andrews didn't, why should we?

November 06 2010 at 11:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love Dick Van Dyke AND Craig Ferguson!!! I just wish Craig was on earlier so I could stay up and watch him!! I would much rather see him than Letterman (yuck)

November 06 2010 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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