Sacha Baron Cohen made the controversial entrance to the Oscars that organisers were dreading - by tipping an urn he said contained Kim Jong-il's ashes over a US TV presenter.
The British actor arrived on the red carpet dressed as General Aladeen, the lead character in his upcoming film The Dictator.
Wearing a military outfit with a large fake beard, he told the assembled media he had brought along the ashes of his "friend", the late North Korean leader.
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Accompanied by two female bodyguards as he was interviewed by American Idol and E! Channel host Ryan Seacrest, he claimed his faux-military uniform was by controversial British designer John Galliano.
When asked if he was excited about being at the awards, Cohen said: "It gave me the opportunity to bring my dear friend and doubles tennis partner, Kim Jong-il.
"It was his dream to come to the Oscars and to be sprinkled over the red carpet and over Halle Berry's chest again."
Cohen then pretended to fall over and emptied the urn's contents all over Seacrest's Burberry suit and onto the red carpet.
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"If someone asks what you are wearing, tell them Kim Jong-il," Cohen joked to the shocked presenter.
Seacrest took it well, later telling viewers: "I'm a little dusty. I'm a victim of comedy."
But security guards standing close by seemed less impressed and quickly dragged Cohen away.
Earlier this week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences warned the star of Borat and Bruno against staging any publicity stunts, and it was initially reported that he had been banned.
In response, Cohen posted a spoof video online of "General Aladeen" calling the academy's members "zionists".