Comedian Joe Lycett has responded to reports he previously performed in Qatar, sarcastically suggesting he has been “caught out”.
The stand-up, 34, has been critical of David Beckham and last month threatened to destroy £10,000 of his own money unless the former footballer pulled out of his reported £10 million deal with the World Cup host, where homosexuality is illegal.
He released a video which appeared to show him shredding the cash but later revealed it was a hoax and he had already donated the money to LGBTQ+ charities.
The Sun newspaper published a story claiming he performed in the capital of Doha some seven years ago, Lycett released a statement on Twitter. Joe Lycett/PA
After The Sun newspaper published a story claiming he performed in the capital of Doha some seven years ago, Lycett released a statement on 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!
Lycett released a video which appeared to show him shredding the cash but later revealed it was a hoax and he had already donated the money to LGBTQ+ charities. Joe Lycett
“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.”
It comes after Beckham responded to Lycett in a statement that aired during his Channel 4 special about the stunt, Joe Lycett Vs David Beckham: A Got Your Back Special.
A spokesperson for the former footballer, 47, said he sees it as “positive” that debate about “key issues” has been “stimulated” by the contest being held in the country.
Elsewhere in the episode, the comedian spoke to Naser Mohamed, who claims to be the first and only openly gay Qatari.