Plans for a film starring outrageous television funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen based on his tactless alter-ego Borat are being desperately salvaged after director TODD PHILIPS abandoned the project.

PHILIPS cited extreme on-set tension as the cause for his departure - but fans will still have to opportunity to see the spoof Kazakhstani TV reporter in his own feature length documentary thanks to studio backer TWENTIETH CENTURY Fox.

Hollywood executives have inviting former Seinfeld writer Larry Charles to take over the directorial reigns.

Borat infamously enraged Americans at a rodeo last year by singing a mocking pastiche of the US national anthem before declaring, "I want you to kill every man, woman and child in Iraq."

24/04/2005 21:40