Arts and Entertainment
 

Comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen is reported to have quit playing the lead in an impending Freddie Mercury biopic due to a disagreement with the remaining members of Queen.

Mime artists sweep awards in Edinburgh

Comics give another meaning to the phrase speechless with laughter
A protester dressed as Ali G, Sacha Baron-Cohen’s creation from Staines, complains about the ‘pointless’ change

Staines, home of Ali G, tries to go more upmarket

The late comedian Kenneth Horne, master of the double entendre, used to tell a joke about a town in London's commuter belt with a somewhat unfortunate name: "How to get rid of unsightly Staines – blow up the bridge and burn the cinema!"

A protester dressed as Ali G, Sacha Baron-Cohen’s creation from Staines, complains about the ‘pointless’ change

Welcome to 'Staines-upon-Thames' (no Ali G jokes...)

The town formerly known as Staines has renamed itself to create a more genteel sound. But is it all a massive mistake?

Sacha Baron Cohen: UN was scared of my 'dictator'

An unmasked Sacha Baron Cohen has revealed that the United Nations barred him from shooting The Dictator at its New York headquarters because his comic portrayal of a Middle East tyrant would embarrass the heads of member states.

General Aladeen, played by Sacha Baron Cohen, will grace our cinema screens this week in The Dictator

General alert: From Staines to Wadiya, I is da man!

North African despot General Aladeen hates the West and is just weeks away from acquiring weapons-grade plutonium. No laughing matter - unless you're a Sacha Baron Cohen fan

Being Modern: Alt.Christmas

As the forces of commerce gather for the fast-approaching festivities, we would do well to guard against another stain that has, of late, indelibly marked the spirit of the season: "alternative" takes on our cherished traditions.

The Weekend's TV: Operation Crossbow, Sun, BBC2<br/>PhoneShop, Fri, Channel 4

How the Spitfire called the shots

Staines considers name change to shed comedy connection

A town is considering a change of name in a bid to shake off links with the comedy character Ali G, local councillors said today.

'Is it because I has a mankini?' Ali G creator to take on Queen

Sacha Baron Cohen to play Freddie Mercury in a film about the star's colourful life

The fine art of the mockumentary

Casey Affleck's spoof film 'I'm Still Here' follows a grand tradition of blurring the line between fact and fiction

Sacha Baron Cohen sells 'goat film' to Paramount after bidding war

He achieved fame as the white gangster-rapper Ali G, before wowing Hollywood as Kazakh TV presenter Borat and gay fashion journalist Brüno. Now Sacha Baron Cohen is preparing to unveil a fourth alter ego. No one is entirely sure of the new character's name yet, but his job description will almost certainly involve goats.

Brüno is threatened for ridiculing terrorist group

Sacha Baron Cohen, the creator of Ali G and Borat, has stepped up his personal security after a Palestinian militia group issued a veiled threat over its portrayal in his latest film, Brüno. The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades said it was "very upset" about a scene in which Baron Cohen, playing a gay Austrian fashion reporter, ridicules Ayman Abu Aita, a man identified as the terror group's leader.

'Brüno' too hot to handle for film censors

Film company protests after Baron Cohen film is given 18 certificate

Simon Baron-Cohen: Ali G's smarter cousin and Britain's leading expert on autism

George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, once amused journalists at a Conservative fringe meeting by regaling them with tales of his ability to retain odd facts. Perhaps, one of them asked, he was "faintly autistic"? Referring in turn to a much-touted rumour that had been doing the Westminster rounds, Osborne replied: "We're not getting on to Gordon Brown yet."

Night falls on daytime TV's king and queen

Richard and Judy's 21-year screen career at an end as digital channel show is axed
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable