Ryan Seacrest was the butt of the joke as 'The Dictator' gained a promotional push at the Oscars last night, with Sacha Baron Cohen pulling the stunt that many feared he might as he arrived on the red carpet dressed as his character from the film - totalitarian dictator General Aladeen. Visibly stunned as Cohen poured the contents of the urn he was carrying over his tuxedo - claimed to be the ashes of recently deceased North Korean leader KIM JONG-IL - the E! man nevertheless kept his professionalism and expressed to his co-presenter Giuliana Rancic "Part of me thought he'd be up to something Giuliana. I had an idea something was coming, I didn't know what fashion or form."

The organisers behind the Academy Awards are extremely strict on their policy of banning any specific film promotion at the annual event and for weeks it was widely reported that they would ban the British actor from attending given his past ceremonial exploits - notably dressing up as his character Borat for the 2006 Toronto Film Festival and descending from the rafters of the MTV Movie Awards in 2009 dressed as Bruno ahead of his forthcoming film of the same name.

Seacrest however has reacted light heartedly to the whole incident; with the "ashes" of Jong-Il in fact being pancake mix, the 37 year-old took Twitter to write "My mom always told me to pack two jackets for red carpets, always wondered why. Now I know." He added "A lot of people hitting up afterparties tonight...me? I'm hosting a pancake breakfast tomorrow." It's hard to imagine that Academy bosses will have taken it quite so sportingly.