Joe Lycett has revealed the £10,000 he appeared to shred in protest of David Beckham’s involvement in the 2022 FIFA World Cup has actually been donated to charity.
The comedian previously criticised Beckham’s role as an ambassador for the tournament, a deal reportedly worth £10million, due to the country’s human rights record and criminalisation of homosexuality.
In a video, Lycett offered to donate £10,000 of his own money to queer charities if Beckham ended the sponsorship deal before the tournament started and promised he would shred the cash if he didn’t withdraw.
After Beckham didn’t respond, Lycett released a video on Sunday (November 20) where he appeared to shred the £10,000 – a clip which attracted some criticism due to the timing with the UK’s cost of living crisis.
In a follow-up video posted on Monday (November 21), Lycett explained the money that came out of the shredder was fake, and the cash had actually been donated to LGBTQ+ charities before he sent the original tweet last week (November 13).
— Joe Lycett (@joelycett) November 21, 2022
“This is my final message to David Beckham,” Lycett began. “It’s me! That prick who shredded loads of money in a cost of living crisis. 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 bullshit from the start.”
The clip concludes with Lycett shredding Beckham’s Attitude magazine cover from June 2002, which was the first gay magazine cover to feature a Premier League footballer.
“I asked Attitude if I could shred it and they were more than happy to oblige,” Lycett added. “Gosh, it’s all been quite a lot this, hasn’t it? Right I’m off down the gay village to have a few pints.”
Ahead of the World Cup, which kicked off on Sunday (November 21), a number of acts have distanced themselves from the tournament. Dua Lipa denied rumours that she was set to perform at the opening ceremony, while Rod Stewart also revealed he turned down the opportunity for moral reasons.