You might die laughing – Sacha Baron Cohen's Dictator stages comedy coup

Sacha Baron Cohen brought guns, girls and the expected dose of controversy to the red carpet

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The Independent Culture

"Hello, and death to the West!" was the greeting from General Aladeen to the assembled crowds at the premiere of The Dictator last night.

And with a series of outrageous claims about politicians and celebrities, Sacha Baron Cohen ensured that his latest comic creation was just as controversial as his earlier ones.

The "Admiral General" of the fictitious Republic of Wadiya, arrived in an unusual manner, but still one befitting a North African despot. The procession was opened with a chrome and gold armoured vehicle, before the dictator appeared in full military regalia and waving a golden handgun, in the back of an orange Lamborghini, which was sitting on the back of a City of Westminster tow truck. Taking inspiration from Muammar Gaddafi, Aladeen had at least 10 female bodyguards, all of whom, he insisted, were virgins.

In a speech to the crowd, the man with the golden gun displayed a keen appetite for current affairs, and said that he was off to meet the Prime Minister and his deputy after the premiere had finished.

"This evening, I am having a dinner with your David Cameron," he said. "It was very easy, I just paid €400,000 to the Tory party. For that price I get an inclusive foot massage from Mr Clegg."

He reached out to Rupert Murdoch, expressing sympathy over News Corp's scandals. "I would like to grant political asylum to Murdoch," he insisted. "I don't know why you are picking on my wrinkled old buddy, what is the big deal? We also have mobile phone hacking in Wadiya. Everybody who has a mobile phone, we hack off their hands."

The revelations continued afterwards as he spoke to what he called the "Zionist media", he claimed to be the father of Prince Harry (apparently they share a love of dressing up in Nazi uniforms), to have had an off-screen affair with co-star Megan Fox and to have ordered the murders of rappers Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. Meeting Mohamed al Fayed, the owner of Fulham FC, on the red carpet, he embraced him warmly, before claiming that the pair had met when they were both on the finance committee of Hezbollah.

For the London opening of his 2009 film Bruno, about a gay Austrian fashion broadcaster, he dressed in a revealing version of a soldier in the Queen's Guard, complete with bearskin hat, and marched down the red carpet to the strains of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive". At the premiere of Borat, in 2006, the actor arrived on a mule-driven cart surrounded by what were supposed to be "Kazakhstani" prostitutes.

Recently Baron Cohen has been taking more traditional roles with directors such as Martin Scorsese and Tom Hooper, but The Dictator is a return to the shocking character comedy, that saw him break out with Ali G. And after every new film comes out, it is inevitably asked, where can he possibly go next?