Ryan Seacrest says Sacha Baron Cohen has apologised for covering him in ashes on the red carpet at this year's Oscars - and says the prankster's target was originally George Clooney.

Seacrest was interviewing Cohen during the Academy Awards when the actor, dressed in character from his upcoming movie The Dictator, spilled a jar of what he called the ashes of Kim Jong-Il all over him.

"If someone asks you what you are wearing, you can say 'Kim Jong-Il'," shouted Cohen while being dragged away by security.

Speaking on his radio show, Seacrest was reported by news agency Wenn as saying Cohen had apologised for the controversial prank while the pair were backstage filming the latest episode of Saturday Night Live.


"I saw (Cohen's wife) Isla Fisher and I said, 'Hi', and she said ... 'I apologise for my husband.'

"And I said, 'Oh, yes, yes, gotcha, thank you, thank you very much for saying that'... I didn't realise her husband, The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen, was doing a walk-on cameo.

"He comes off stage, comes over to me, breaks character and says, 'Sorry about the Oscars, it wasn't personal'. (He was) very apologetic and genuine and kind and sweet."

Cohen also told Seacrest that his original target was George Clooney.

"He started telling me how it went down," said Seacrest.

"Originally he said that they were going to spill whatever it was in that urn on George Clooney. Someone decided that wasn't a great idea because he was up for a lot of nominations, it was a big night that night.

"Then they somehow spun the wheel of tragedy and landed on my name."

Watch the incident below:

- Herald online