In a surprise move today legendary entertainer and honorary Pearly King, Dick Van Dyke, has been appointed as Britain's Cockney Rhyming Slang Tsar and has been charged with getting kids at East London schools to use their norfs and sarfs (mouths) more to revitalise the use of the cheeky Cockney dialect. And it's understood if the scheme proves to be a tom tit (hit) then plans are said to be at an advanced stage to roll the initiative out across the entire country, setting up the intriguing possibility of Brummies saying phrases such as "Bostin me old china plate (mate)."
Van Dyke, whose masterly performance as chim-chimney sweep Bert in Mary Poppins is widely recognised as the gold standard in the vernacular, is said to be cock-a-hoop (cock-a-hoop) and is flying into London later today. Reports suggesting that he may be a last minute contender to light the Olympic cauldron at Friday's opening ceremony have not been confirmed, and the show's Artistic Director, Danny Boyle, is refusing to be drawn on the speculation. When pressed on the matter Mr Boyle simply said, "Hoots!"
Speaking to reporters last night at JFK en route to London, Van Dyke looking remarkably well-preserved wearing a striped blazer, straw boater, white flannels and carrying a walking cane paused briefly to comment, "Cor blimey, May-ree Bobbins," before shimmying through the departure gate using a few steps from his iconic rooftop dance routine.
London Mayor Boris Johnson is said to be delighted by the appointment and yesterday told BBC London, "I-I-I-I-I can't 'ardly Adam and Eve (believe) it that we've only went and got Dick. He's a proper diamond geezer and he'll do a bang up Vic and Bob (job). Just you wait and see...erm...my sahn! Yes that's it! Lovely jubbly. Toodle-pip old boy...no that's wrong isn't it...damn!"