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Joe Lycett says shredded €11k cash was ‘fake’ in David Beckham’s World Cup deal stunt

Lycett revealed that the “money that went into the shredder was real, but the money that came out was fake”

A still image taken from the Twitter feed of comedian Joe Lycett appearing to shred £10,000 of his own money. Photo: Joe Lycett/PA Wire© PA

Neasa Cumiskey, Isobel Lewis, Lottie Kilraine and Naomi Clarke, PASunday World

Joe Lycett has revealed that he didn’t actually shred £10,000 (€11,491) after David Beckham failed to respond to his World Cup ultimatum.

Lycett offered to donate £10,000 of his own money to LGBTQ+ charities if Beckham ended the sponsorship before the tournament started, and if not he said he would live stream himself shredding the money along with Beckham's "status as gay icon".

The comic set the former England footballer a deadline of midday on November 20 to take action after it was reported Beckham had signed a controversial £10 million deal with the Fifa World Cup hosts.

And when Beckham failed to address Lycett’s deal, 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.

But on Monday, Lycett revealed that the “money that went into the shredder was real, but the money that came out was fake”, adding that shredding actual money would be “irresponsible” in a cost-of-living crisis.

He said that he would never have destroyed the money and had already donated it to charity before he sent his first tweet to Beckham.

In a video update, he said: “This is my final message to David Beckham. It’s me – that pr**k who shredded loads of money in a cost-of-living crisis.

“So, where were we? I told you I was going to destroy £10,000 if you didn’t end your relationship with Qatar before the first day of the World Cup.

“And then, when you didn’t end your relationship or even respond in any way, I streamed myself dropping £10k into a shredder. Or did I?

“I haven’t quite told you the whole truth. Because the truth is, the money that went into the shredder was real, but the money that came out was fake.

“I would never destroy real money. I would never be so irresponsible. In fact, the ten grand had already been donated to LGBTQ+ charities before I even pressed send on the initial tweet last week.

“I never expected to hear from you. It was an empty threat designed to get people talking.

“In many ways, it was like your deal with Qatar, David – total bullsh*t from the start. I’m not even queer – only joking.”

Instead, Lycett shredded Beckham’s 2002 cover of gay magazine Attitude.

“There is one thing I’ll shred. This is your Attitude magazine cover from June 2002, the first ever cover of a gay magazine with a Premier League footballer on it.

“I asked Attitude if I could shred it and they were more than happy to oblige,” he said as he fed the publication into the shredder.

This is not the first time Lycett has performed a public stunt having become known for unusual acts to raise awareness of various issues.

Appearing on a host of comedy shows over the years, he rose to fame from his stand-up routines where he would recall his humorous email exchanges when handling issues such as parking fines and scammers.

The comedian went on to front Channel 4's consumer rights show, Joe Lycett's Got Your Back, where he takes on large corporations on behalf of the consumer.

Among his other publicity stunts, Lycett stormed off the set of Steph's Packed Lunch last year 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, he 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.

He also made headlines in September after he appeared to sarcastically praise former prime minister Liz Truss on the first episode of BBC's Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg following Ms Truss's live interview in the studio earlier in the show.

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