In a surprise move veteran American actor Dick Van Dyke is being drafted in as voice coach for the West End Version of BBC's 'Eastenders the Musical'.
The chim-chiminey-chimney sweep who gave the world the definitive Hollywood cockney chappie in Disney's Mary Poppins is said to be coc-coc-cock-a-hoop at landing the job. He told the spoof:
"Cor blimey guvnor. I'm dead well chuffed to bits and no mistake. And I can't 'ardly waits to get stuck in my son"
Our reporter risked the great man's wrath by suggesting that in fact Van Dyke's voicing of Bert the sweep was probably one of the shittest performances ever in the entire history of the movies and that it was only saved from the bottom spot by the late James Doohan's 'Scotty' in Star Trek.
Van Dyke countered with:
"Oh yeah? That's what you fink you little tosser" before he could carry on the pretence no longer, breaking down in tears and admitting that his cockney accent is so bad that he wants to rip out his tongue every time he does it.
However The Spoof pointed out that he might still get away with it, as all he has to work on in the musical are two phrases of dialogue:
"Wha's gawin' oan?" and "Gotta go"
The rest of the time the actors have to look miserable or sob uncontrollably.
Read our Arts Supplement next week for reviews of the 'press only' previews.