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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Isobel Lewis

Joe Lycett reveals the truth behind David Beckham World Cup money shredding

Joe Lycett

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

On Sunday (20 November), Lycett appeared to follow through with his pledge to destroy the money (£1,000 for every £1m of Beckham’s alleged deal) if the footballer didn’t end his contract in protest against Qatar’s stance on LGBT+ issues.

Had Beckham pulled out of his deal, Lycett had said that he would have donated the money to charities supporting gay people in football, while Beckham’s status as a “gay icon” would have remained intact. It is illegal to be gay in Qatar.

Appearing on a livestream at the website on Sunday, Lycett – wearing a tulle jacket in the colours of the Pride Progress flag – took the cash and silently threw it into a shredder. He then curtsied for the camera and walked off.

But on Monday (21 November), Lycett shared a new video update on what had actually happened.

“This is my final message to David Beckham,” he said. “It’s me! That prick who shredded loads of money in a cost of living crisis. So, where we?”

Explaining how he’d streamed himself dropping the money into a shredder, Lycett added: “Or did I? I haven’t quite told you the whole truth.”

Lycett as he ‘shredded’ the money on Sunday (Joe Lycett)

Lycett then revealed that, while the money he threw in had been real, what came out was fake.

“I would never destroy real money. I would never be so irresponsible,” he said, adding that the £10,000 had already been donated to LGBT+ charities before he sent his first tweet to Beckham.

“I never expected to hear from you. It was an empty threat designed to get people talking,” Lycett explained. “In many ways, it was like your deal with Qatar, David. Total bulls*** from the start. I’m not even queer! Only joking.”

Comedian destroyed Beckham’s Attitude cover instead (Joe Lycett)

Instead, Lycett pulled out of a copy of Beckham’s 2002 Attitude cover, which was the first ever cover of a gay magazine with a Premier League footballer on it.

He then shredded the cover, clarifying that he’d asked Attitude for permission and they were “more than happy to oblige”.

Ending the video, he said: “Gosh, it’s all been quite a lot this, hasn’t it? I’m off down the gay village to have a few pints.”

Lycett’s initial stunt had divided his fans, with many arguing that it was cruel to shred the money in a recession rather than donate it to charity.

Others, meanwhile, argued that it was effectively raising awareness and that protest should make people uncomfortable.

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