Comedian Joe Lycett shreds £10,000 in protest over David Beckham’s Qatar deal

Comedian Joe Lycett shreds £10,000 in protest over David Beckham’s Qatar deal

COMEDIAN JOE Lycett has shredded £10,000 of his own money after he presented David Beckham with an ultimatum to pull out of his role as a Qatar ambassador or he would destroy the cash.

The comic set the former England footballer a deadline of midday yesterday, 21 November, to take action after it was reported Mr Beckham had signed a controversial £10 million deal with the Fifa World Cup hosts.

The contest kicked off yesterday in Qatar, where homosexuality is still illegal and anyone found participating in same-sex sexual activity can be punished with up to seven years in prison.

Mr Lycett offered to donate £10,000 of his own money to LGBTQ+ charities if Mr Beckham ended the sponsorship before the tournament started and, if not, he said he would livestream himself shredding the money.

Appearing to stand by his decision, the Birmingham-born comedian videoed himself on a Twitch stream wearing a rainbow-layered tulle outfit and placed wads of what appeared to be cash into an industrial shredder, but it was not clear if the banknotes were genuine money.

Mr Beckham is yet to publicly acknowledge or respond to the comic.

Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries was among those to criticise Lycett, and called the move a publicity stunt.

Hours before the livestream, Nadine Dorries tweeted: “Shredding £10k will earn Joe Lycett far more than it will cost him and is in effect a paid-for publicity stunt which has worked.”

She added that “no-one will think any worse of him now if he changes his mind at the last minute and donates it to a homeless shelter in time for Christmas”.

Other Twitter users supported Lycett and the stunt, with one saying:

“This has raised awareness of how little people still value LGBTQ lives, it’s raised awareness of how people who claim to be allies can be bought and it raises awareness of how vile this whole farce of a world cup is… That’s a lot for 10k. This was art.”

Another said:

“For the people missing the point. It’s Joe’s money. If he’d have bought a watch or a car we wouldn’t have cared. The point isn’t about him shredding money, it’s about highlighting the issues with celebrities taking far greater sums from a country with an awful human rights record.”