Dick Van Dyke Set for Top TV Honor at Britannia Awards
"I appreciate this opportunity to apologize to the members of BAFTA for inflicting on them the most atrocious Cockney accent in the history of cinema," said Van Dyke.
Legend Dick Van Dyke will soon have another trophy to put on the mantle.
The 91-year-old has been confirmed by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles (BAFTA Los Angeles) to receive the Britannia Award for Excellence in Television at the 2017 AMD British Academy Britannia Awards presented by American Airlines.
The big show is scheduled for Oct. 27 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. In a release announcing the news, Van Dyke poked fun at his performance in the classic Mary Poppins. "I appreciate this opportunity to apologize to the members of BAFTA for inflicting on them the most atrocious Cockney accent in the history of cinema," said Van Dyke.
BAFTA LA CEO Chantal Rickards also joked about the accent while offering how "absolutely thrilled" the organization is to honor the iconic performer. "We truly are in a golden age of television, and we couldn't think of a better way to recognize this than by celebrating someone who was at the forefront of making it the global medium that it has become," she said. "We look forward to his acceptance speech in whatever accent he chooses on the night. We have no doubt it will be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"
Proceeds from the event support BAFTA's Access for All campaign, a range of impactful educational initiatives created to provide a foot in the door and a pathway to success for talented individuals, uninhibited by background, demographics or personal circumstance.
The 2017 edition will follow last year's event, which honored Ang Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Ricky Gervais, Ewan McGregor, Felicity Jones, Jodie Foster and Done + Dusted. Other honorees to join Van Dyke are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Van Dyke's career has spanned more than seven decades and landed him five Emmys, a Tony Award, a Grammy, the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award, and induction into in Television Hall of Fame. He recently joined pals Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks and Norman Lear in the HBO documentary If You're Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast. He continues to work and will soon release a new jazz quintet album, "Step Back in Time."
He'll next appear on the big screen in Mary Poppins Returns.