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LONDON – Sacha Baron Cohen, creator of the hit comic character Borat, has been named one of Britain’s most powerful men on a list that puts him one place behind Prince William.
The 35-year-old comedian debuted in 19th place on GQ magazine’s annual list, announced Monday. The publication said the ranking showed men “shaping the fabric and direction of the nation” over the next 12 months and beyond.
Cohen won a Golden Globe for his performance as a boorish Kazakh journalist in the surprise box office hit “Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”. The film incensed Kazakh authorities who said it portrayed Kazakhs as bigoted, oafish and primitive.
Cohen argued he used his Borat figure to highlight prejudice and bigotry in the U.S.
Cohen topped the likes of BSkyB chief executive James Murdoch and Britain’s Prince Charles, heir to the throne and father of Prince William.
“Not since John Lennon has an English entertainer had such an effect on the world: George Bush was briefed on him, the Kazakh government briefed against him and the film Borat … hit the No. 1 spot in America last autumn,” the magazine said.
The magazine named Chancellor Gordon Brown as the most powerful man in Britain, ahead of the person he is expected to replace later this year, British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, came third.
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