By the age of eight I was fluent in useless sentences such as "This is the BBC World Service - Here is the news" and "The Weather in London today will be hot and humid".
However, I could never get rid of my Russian accent, and this stayed with me for many years.
As I have said in a previous post, I had to spend some time away from the lime light and was posted to the back end of no where to a remote listening post high up in the Ural mountains. Miles from anywhere there was a great deal of time to devote to learning the perfect English accent.
The previous occupant of my listening post left some of his personal belongings behind, it would appear that he left in a hurry, possibly even in a body bag!
I have a sort of Cockney accent, which if you listen carefully can be traced back to my mentor and who I learnt a great deal from about the English way of life.
But, by a stroke of luck two things he left behind have been my saviour!
I had a small colour TV and a VHS video player, a luxury indeed, when you think that the average Russian would gain much amusement from watching dirty dish washer drain through the plug hole!
I only had four videos. The first was a training video issued by the KGB on how to interrogate. Boring, to say the least! I could of made a better one! I could also make a very good video on how to extract teeth but that is for another day!
The second was a video of Delia Smith, I am now fully capable of boiling an egg!
But, my two prized possessions, which I still have today and watch often with great fondness and where as I said earlier I learnt how to perfect the English Accent are "Mary Poppins" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"!
Yes Comrades, my perfect English accent is all down to listening to Dick Van Dyke, he has total mastery of the language!