British funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen is hanging up his mankini and retiring his controversial comedy characters after receiving a slew of death threats.
The actor/comedian made his name in television and film by duping celebrities and members of the public with the outlandish antics of satirical creations such as Kazakh journalist Borat, Ali G, and fashion presenter Bruno Gehard.
However Sacha, who has three young children with Wedding Crashers actress Isla Fisher, admits his characters have caused a lot of upset over the years and he no longer wants to put himself in harm’s way for the sake of his family.
“I miss those roles but cannot do them as I have responsibility for my family,” he tells the Los Angeles Times newspaper.
“Being in a wild situation when you’re deep in character, and nobody realising you’re not real – that’s the ultimate adrenaline. But I’m too old for it – and you start feeling irresponsible when you have a family.
“I always received death threats, but they increased after Bruno. You have to have the mindset that if something bad happens everyone is going to be fine.”
His 2006 mockumentary Borat angered members of the Kazakh government due to its portrayal of the country, and his 2009 follow-up Bruno, a similar spoof documentary focused on the fashion world, prompted a Palestinian militant group named into the film to issue violent threats against the star.
Sacha had previously announced in 2007 that he was retiring Ali G and Borat but he later resurrected them.