Dick Van Dyke sorry for 'atrocious accent' in Mary Poppins

The 91-year-old is to reprise his famous role again

Dick Van Dyke sorry for 'atrocious accent' in Mary Poppins

Image: YouTube/DisneyMusicVEVO

US actor Dick Van Dyke has apologised for "the most atrocious Cockney accent in the history of cinema".

The 91-year-old star is to receive an Excellence In Television prize from the BAFTA awards.

Referring to his role as Bert in Mary Poppins, Van Dyke 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."

But BAFTA 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!"

But Van Dyke has a chance to do the "atrocious" accent again on screen as he is set to appear in the Mary Poppins sequel, which stars Emily Blunt and is due for release in 2018.

"I get to do a little song and dance number," he said in December.

"I gotta be a part of it."

Van Dyke's award, which will be presented at in Los Angeles, recognises those whose special talents and appeal have elevated television.

His performances have earned him a trophy cabinet of five Emmys, a Tony, a Grammy, the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award, and induction into the Television Hall Of Fame.

The sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66) solidified his star status and, along with Mary Poppins (1964), his most memorable film roles included 1968's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Dick Tracy (1990) and the Night At The Museum films opposite Ben Stiller.

His hit TV series Diagnosis: Murder ran from 1993 to 2001 and spawned two TV films in 2002.