Borat banned from the Oscars

Creator Sacha Baron Cohen has been banned from presenting an award tomorrow night as the Kazakh reporter.

Sacha has agreed to hand over one of the coveted statuettes but when he said he wanted to be Borat, bosses started to backtrack.

We heard of the climbdown in LA as we arrived here to hit the hottest pre-awards parties. We're in Tinseltown to bring you all the gossip ahead, during and after tomorrow's glitzy ceremony at Kodak Theatre.

Our Oscars insider tells us: "Oscars organisers and Sacha were looking forward to working together and talks for him to present an award were at an advanced stage.

But when Sacha said he wanted to be Borat, they told him it wasn't possible."

Producers were terrified that he'd upset the dozens of A-listers including Leonardo DiCaprio, Dame Helen Mirren and Penelope Cruz.

They considered his humour "too risque" and worried that it would bring the ceremony into disrepute.

Perhaps they had good reason to worry...

On stage at the Golden Globes last month after winning best comedy actor, his speech - about a close encounter with his male costar's buttocks - was the talking point of the night.

But Sacha may have the last laugh at the Oscars if his film wins Best Adapted Screenplay.

It's 9-1 with top bookies Betfair, who favour The Departed and also back that to win best film.

Best actress is heavily tipped to be Helen Mirren at 1-9, while best actor should be Forest Whitaker at 1-4.

Oscar producer Laura Ziskin said: "He was asked to present but declined."

Says our source: "If Sacha does upset the odds, it could be car crash telly. He'd have to get on stage." Here's hoping...