Isn’t it wonderful for all of us that Dick can Dyke has never grown up?
They are the words of Kevin Spacey while he was presenting the legend his Britannia Award for Excellence in Television.
The 91-year-old song and dance man, who starred in Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Diagnosis Murder and his own The Dick Van Dyke Show, was presented with the award on Friday night.
Spacey even had the crowd singing ‘Lets Go Fly A Kite’ before Van Dyke took to the stage.
While pretending he was going to drop the award when it was handed over Van Dyke went on to say ‘This is too much’ as he received a standing ovation.
“After 60 years of bad jokes I’m off the hook for excoriating the Cockney dialect,” Dick Van Dyke joked.
“I’ve got a million excuses,” he said, blaming Julie Andrews as much as anyone, for not telling him how bad his accent was, while also mentioning his voice coach was an Irishman, someone he only had one hour to work with.
He said last spring he did a little piece in the new Mary Poppins, and he had a dialectician make sure every syllable was correct this time.
Van Dyke spoke about his childhood during the speech.
“When I was a kid everyone would be out playing John Wayne, I’d be in my room doing Ralph Richardson impression,” Van Dyke said, calling the Doctor Zhivago star a scene stealer.
He also showed his appreciation for the honour of the award.
“I just want to let you know you’ve done an old man a lot of good tonight. I’m so happy, thank you.”