Sunday, 05 December 2021

Prankster upstaged

A VETERAN rower from Henley has recalled the time he avoided humiliation at the hands of television prankster Sacha Baron Cohen.

Paul Stuart-Bennett, a retired dentist who lives in St Andrew’s Road, was approached by the comedian and a film crew at Henley Royal Regatta in 2000 and was asked to explain the event.

At the time Baron Cohen was in character as Borat Sagdiyev, a crude but naive and well-intentioned journalist from Kazakhstan whose questions often left his subjects speechless.

In a scene that was never broadcast, he told Mr Stuart-Bennett, who was then captain of Upper Thames Rowing Club: “In my country we do not row — we wrestle and the winner gets the pick of the virgins.”

Unfazed, Mr Stuart-Bennett shot back: “It sounds like you’d better put me on the next flight to Kazakhstan.”

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