Saturday, September 18, 2010

Still More Catching Up

Digital Spy, June 3, 2010, "Lucker glad over 'Enders accent escape" by Daniel Kilkelly and Kris Green.

"When they called about the part, I spoke to [series story producer] Dom [Treadwell-Collins] about the character and what they wanted from her but after I put the phone down, I thought, 'Oh wait, do they want me to put on an Essex accent?' because they told me that Vanessa lives in Chigwell.

"I think if you're doing one-off dramas, you can go and play a character with an accent, but when you're surrounded by people who use their own accents, I think it would have felt really unnatural for me to be putting it on. It could have all gone a bit Dick Van Dyke!"

Dick Van Dyke's accent is better than a yodeling German in lederhosen.

The Mirror, June 3, 2010, "GERMAN BAILOUT" by Brian Reade.

How, I wondered, can a blatant rip-off of Lou Bega's Mambo Number No. 5, sung in English by someone with a worse Cockney accent than Dick Van Dyke, win a landslide victory for a people whose singing tradition amounts to yodelling in lederhosen?

STV, April 21, 2010, "Lindsey's been to London to look at the Queen. Only she was out." by Lindsey Mason.

Anyway, to my travelogue. We arrived in London at lunchtime duly legless on two double vodkas apiece and twenty of Her Majesty’s pounds poorer due to a mid-journey raid on the Onboard Shop. We immediately adopted our Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins style “Mockney” accent which made us laugh uproariously in Scottish. After a forty minute trek to the hotel (despite being informed that it was a ten minute walk) we checked in and within three minutes of entering the room I had inadvertently trashed it, rock star style. There wasn’t a square inch of carpet to be seen. To be fair, it was a small room.

Spectator Scoff, Undated, "Right Ho, Schoenberg" by Chris Foulkes.

The Borough is a strange area near Guys Hospital. There seemed to be a lot of odd coves with ruffled hair, riding Italian scooters and talking loudly in strange, contrived Dick Van Dyke-style cockney accents. I have no idea what that is about.

Sterling Observer, September 17, 2010, "Hoodie Crowe is rockin as Robin" by Kaiya Marjoribanks.

Whether any so-called Robin Hood had an accent like the Reverend Ian Paisley or Dick Van Dyke, the one thing he has to have had is enough charisma for his legend to have lasted eight centuries.

I don't think a chimney qualifies as an abyss.

BBC News Magazine, September 16, 2010, "The return of the chimney sweep" by Jon Kelly.

They might be considered lucky, they might - thanks to a certain 1964 Walt Disney movie - be portrayed as nifty dancers, but there is little about the popular conception of chimney sweeps that evokes modern Britain.

Mention the trade, and the associations conjured up are of a distant, Victorian, pre-radiator era: grim, soot-filled skies; small urchins compelled to spend long days toiling up chimneys; Dick Van Dyke's abysmal cockney accent.

Subtle, subtle...

Melbourne Leader, August 27, 2010, "LEADER LIFE: What's on in Melbourne this weekend" by Jon Kelly.

Mary Poppins
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne

Matt Lee’s portrayal of Bert was more restrained than Dick Van Dyke’s famed performance

Your Local Guardian, August 20th, 2010, Let's hear it for the Pig by Don Wimbers

Indeed, the clientele had a distinctly international feel to it as I swaggered in. But, then again, this is Earlsfield, a neighbourhood where the locals are about as English as Dick van Dyke, and probably the one area of South London where you will have the best chance of finding a citizen from just about every nation in the world listed as a resident.

Hooray! A reference to his trousers instead of his accent!

Scotland on Sunday, September 10, 2010, "Chitra Ramaswamy: Life's running gag".

I throw on my outfit - C's trainers, C's T-shirt and an old pair of leggings. The elastic around the crotch is going and it looks like I'm channelling Dick Van Dyke channelling a penguin in Mary Poppins.

One more and we are outta here!

Heckler Spray, July 27, 2010, "Danny Dyer Drives A Car, Which Is Basically Unforgivable" by Stuart Heritage.

He had an advice column. That went wrong. He had a promising film career. That went wrong. He had a believable cockney accent. That went spectacularly wrong, to the extent that when Danny Dyer now talks he sounds like a troubling cross between Sylvester Stallone, Dick Van Dyke and a violent brain haemorrhage.

Catching Up on The Summer's D.V.D. Accent News

Playing catch-up again with the Google Reader feed...

The National, July 13, 2010, "Accenting the positive on screen" by Ben East.

Some of the worst accents committed to celluloid are American attempts at English – Don Cheadle in the Oceans series, Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins to name but two...

Dick Van Dyke is better than Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise and Richard Gere

The Independent, July 14, 2010, "Film remakes: Maybe you can hire... the right actors" by Ben Walsh.

The catalogue of casting errors are legion: an unsympathetic Andie MacDowell as the love interest in Four Weddings and a Funeral, John Hannah as the gruff detective in Rebus, Madonna in anything, Jude Law, similarly, in anything, Keira Knightley's bounty hunter in Domino, Dustin Hoffman as the American journalist Wally Stanton in Agatha, Keanu Reeves in Little Buddha, Dracula, My Own Private Idaho, The Devil's Advocate etc, and Robert De Niro's needy monster in Kenneth Branagh's shambolic Frankenstein (1994). Not to mention the dodgy accent brigade: Josh Hartnett's Yorkshireman in Blow Dry, Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, Julia Roberts's Irish maid in Mary Reilly, Tom Cruise's poor Irish farmer in Far and Away, and, worst of all, Richard Gere's IRA terrorist in The Jackal.

"Memorably imitated" is cute...

The First Post, July 2, 2010, "London’s Cockney accent will be gone in 30 years: The ancient East End way of talking is being replaced by a new hybrid known as Jafaican" by Jonathan Harwood.

And although the term Cockney dates back to the time of Chaucer, it is unlikely that the accent so memorably imitated by Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins has many similarities with the dialect spoken by Londoners in the 1400s.

LondonNet, July 1, 2010, "Cockney Accent 'Will Be Gone Within 30 Years' - Study to show that Jafaican most likely to take over from its older bruv"

Cockney has starred in famous TV and film productions. It is still the lingua franca of top-rated soap EastEnders, made a mangled appearance on the lips of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins and is occasionally used by Bart Simpson of The Simpsons to this day.

Sydney Morning Herald, June 17, 2010, "Stella idea in anyone's language" by AUTHOR.

Had the archive been around at the time, we might have been spared the vocal grotesqueries of Dick Van Dyke and Sean Connery, who topped Empire magazine's poll of the worst accents in cinema history for their work on, respectively, Mary Poppins (1964) and The Untouchables (1987). ''We get mail of thanks from many actors who are working with scripts that require obscure speech accents,'' Weinberger says.

Broadway West, June 14, 2010, "Stage West Presents ROLE PLAY, Begins 6/24" by Gabrielle Sierra.

In a 2002 interview with famed theatre critic Michael Billington, (Alan) Ayckbourn said, "When I started out, there were serious plays where the lighting was desperately dark and the tempo turgid, and comic plays where madness prevailed and everyone talked like Dick Van Dyke on speed. What I've tried to do is bring these elements together, which is a bit like dancing on the edge of a razor blade."

The Hell? I think the author is confusing Dick Van Dyke with Audrey Hepburn...

The Telegraph, June 8, 2010, "World Cup 2010: How does Fabio Capello compare with 1966 winner Sir Alf Ramsey?" by Jonathan Liew.

Ramsey: Took elocution lessons to gentrify his broad Cockney accent. A bit like Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins.

Anglotopia, June 3, 2010, "Dispatches From the South – Hugh Grant, the Queen and Six Pints of Lager" by Mike.

If accounts of Brits travelling to the States (as well as my own experiences when I visit) are to be believed, your average American still holds as gospel the notion that Britain is populated by fish-and-chip eating, binge-drinking football-hooligans with bad teeth who talk like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, even when they are chatting up the Queen. And they’re all homosexuals. Except for Hugh Grant, and we’re not really sure about him.