Comedian Joe Lycett’s social media stunt driven by ‘anger’

·3 min read

Comedian Joe Lycett has said “anger” motivated his social media stunt in which he shared a fake version of Sue Gray’s report.

The TV star, 33, was reported to have caused “chaos” and “mass panic” in Government after his joke tweet, written earlier this week, was taken seriously.

The fake report appeared to be a formal Cabinet Office document, with a letterhead, titled “A summary of my main findings.”

Lycett captioned the tweet: “BREAKING: Leaked Sue Gray report reveals shocking abuse of the rules. Hard to see how the PM can cling on after this.”

It is understood Ms Gray’s team are still working on the official investigation into Downing Street’s partygate while in contact with the Metropolitan Police.

In a tweet, Lycett said: “I wrote some jokes on twitter, some dumb people (some in our government) found them plausible rather than funny and now I’m in most of the newspapers.

“I write comedy sometimes as a way of using anger.

“I’m angry right now probably for the same reason many other people are angry.

“In the early stages of lockdown in 2020 my best friend died from cancer.

“But he died, at the start of lockdown, and I wasn’t there because I was following the rules, and we had a tiny insufficient funeral, because we were following the rules, and I drove his kids away from that funeral back to Birmingham without any sort of wake, because we were following the rules, and it felt unnatural and cruel and almost silly, but we did it because we followed the rules.

“So I suppose like thousands of others with their own stories, I’m angry about that.”

Lycett explained that he had been a part-time carer for his friend and “watched him slip away” after he had been ill for a number of years.

He said he was not a “political comic” and “rarely” made outwardly political statements but he wrote that this government are out for “power and little else”.

Lycett added: “They torch traditions and institutions with ease if it helps them retain their grip.

“To hell with my dead friend, they think, and all your dead friends and dead relatives.

“You followed the rules and we didn’t but we’re in power and that’s all that matters so spin on it.

“So I get angry and I write a few jokes about Sue Gray’s report, a report which will probably change nothing and we’ll all be here again in the not too distant future, in some other scandal, with some other liars.

Joe Lycett vs The Oil Giant
Joe Lycett outside of Shell’s Headquarters in London (Isobel Frodsham/PA)

“But for now you might wonder how it feels to have been described in the papers as having caused these people ‘chaos’ and ‘mayhem’ and ‘mass panic’ because of a few jokes.

“Let me be clear: it feels absolutely f***ing fantastic.”

It is not the first time Lycett has performed a public stunt.

In July, the comedian stormed off the set of Steph’s Packed Lunch after its host, Steph McGovern, pointed out a photo of him using a plastic bottle after he claimed he had given up using them.

He later revealed the walkout was a stunt aimed at raising awareness of single-use plastics.

In March 2020, Lycett legally changed his name to that of German luxury designer Hugo Boss after the brand used trademark claims to target small businesses and charities who use “boss” in their branding.

He later changed his name back.

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