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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
News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Career Services

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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week