In what many see as a surprise move today, legendary entertainer Dick Van Dyke, has been appointed as Britain’s Cockney Rhyming Slang Tsar and charged with getting kids at London schools to use their norfs and sarfs (mouths) more to revitalise the use of the cheeky East End Cock-er-nee dialect.

The move comes as part of a Dept. of Media Sport and Culture drive to maintain regional identities by teaching children about their native dialects.

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.

Speaking to reporters last night at JFK en route to London, looking remarkably well-preserved wearing a striped blazer, straw boater, white flannels and carrying a walking cane he commented, ‘Cor blimey, May-ree Bobbins,’ before shimmying through the departure gate using a few deft moves from his iconic rooftop dance routine.

Education Minister, Damien Hinds, has welcomed the appointment. He said. ‘Regional accents are part of Britain’s DNA… and you know I can’t ‘ardly Adam and Eve (believe) it that we’ve only went and got Dick. He’s a right proper gent and a diamond geezer. He’ll do a bang-up dog’s knob (job). Just you wait and see…erm…my sahn! Yes that’s it! lovely jubbly! Now must dash, toodle-pip everyone…no that’s wrong isn’t it…damn!’