Joe Lycett facing hypocrisy storm for Qatar performances, despite shaming David Beckham for links to anti-LGBT state

21 December 2022, 06:45 | Updated: 5 October 2023, 10:17

Joe Lycett also performed in Qatar despite criticising David Beckham
Joe Lycett also performed in Qatar despite criticising David Beckham. Picture: Getty/Twitter

By Kit Heren

Joe Lycett has been caught up in a hypocrisy storm, after it emerged that he had performed in Qatar, despite later shaming David Beckham for taking millions to promote the homophobic Gulf state.

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Comedian Mr Lycett publicly slammed former England captain Mr Beckham as a "disgrace" for taking up to £150 million from Doha to promote the World Cup.

He told Mr Beckham that he would shred £10,000 in protest at the former Manchester United star's involvement with Qatar, where being gay can mean imprisonment, and even officially carries the death sentence.

He even posted a video of him "shredding" the money, only to reveal later it was faked and he had donated the money to charity.

But Mr Lycett was paid to perform in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, the Sun reported.

David Beckham in Qatar
David Beckham in Qatar. Picture: Getty

He wrote in his 2017 book Parsnips, Buttered that he had done gigs in the countries while making fun of their homophobic laws.

Mr Lycett said: 'I was performing stand-up in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Friends of mine had warned me about travelling to these countries, claiming that 'they don't like', as one friend put it, 'your lot'.

"The punishment for homosexuality in these countries is oft jail, the logic of which I've never understood. 'Oh, you like men? We'll put you in a box with some'.

"Not exactly a punishment, lads!"

Joe Lycett last year
Joe Lycett last year. Picture: Getty

Fans told him they were confused about his criticism of Mr Beckham, having been involved himself with Qatar years earlier.

One said: "I don't understand why you are so angry as I remember seeing you perform here in Qatar at the Radisson Blue at the Laughter Factory! 

"You didn't seem to have a problem taking Qatari money that night?"

James O’Brien lambasts those finding flaws in Joe Lycett’s ‘brilliant’ publicity stunt.

Another added: "Many people sharing Joe Lycett's publicity stunt shaming David Beckham. In 2015 he performed stand-up in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar.

"By all means feel free to criticise David Beckham, but don't be a hypocrite about it."

However, sharp-tongued Mr Lycett fired back over Twitter.

He said: : "Oops! I've been caught out by The Sun!

"I did two gigs in Doha in 2015 and kept it entirely secret by writing about it in my own book and mentioning it in multiple interviews including with the NY Times!

"If you're interested, I was paid a few hundred quid (not by Qatar but by UK comedy promoters) but it was 2015 and that went a lot further back then.

"I reckon that if a popular comedian from those days (eg Shane Ritchie) had shredded a few hundred quid to persuade me not to go, it would have made a difference. But who can say?

"I don't have the perfect hindsight and spotless morality of, to pick a completely random example, The Sun newspaper."

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