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Joe Lycett branded a hypocrite as it emerges he performed in Qatar

Joe Lycett branded a hypocrite as it emerges he performed in Qatar

The comedian recently called David Beckham a 'disgrace' over his World Cup deal with Qatar

Joe Lycett has been branded a 'hypocrite' after it recently emerged he was paid to perform in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The comedian, 34, recently criticised David Beckham over his relationship with Qatar, and even appeared to shred £10,000 on camera in response.

But now, he's received backlash after it's been revealed he wrote about performing in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar in his 2016 autobiography.

At the time, he wrote: “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!”

This year's World Cup was held in Qatar, which Lycett said is 'one of the worst places in the world to be gay' as homosexuality is illegal, punishable by imprisonment.

LADbible has reached out to Lycett's rep for comment.

Lycett pretended to shred the £10,000.
ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy Stock Photo

Responding to the backlash, the comedian released a statement to Twitter, reading: "I did two gigs in Doha in 2015 and kept it entirely secret by writing about it in my 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 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."

@Joelycett/Twitter

Upon finding out that David Beckham landed a reported £10 million deal to be an ambassador for this year's football tournament, the comedian gave him an ultimatum.

He called on Beckham as a 'gay icon' to end his relationship with Qatar, promising to donate £10,000 of his own money to charity if the former footballer stopped the promotion.

But if he didn't agree, Lycett threatened to shred all of the cash.

Lycett later shared a video of him shredding the money, but later revealed he had actually donated it to charity anyway.

"When you didn't end your relationship [with the World Cup] or even respond in any way, I streamed myself dropping 10k into a shredder. Or did I?" he said.

The comedian, 34, recently criticised David Beckham over his relationship with Qatar.
Abaca Press/Alamy Stock Photo

The comedian continued: "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."

Lycett confirmed that the £10,000 had already been donated to LGBTQ+ charities.

"It was an empty threat designed to get people talking," he said.

"In many ways it was like your deal with Qatar, David – total bulls*** from the start."

A rep for Beckham said: "David has been involved in a number of World Cups and other major international tournaments both as a player and an ambassador and he's always believed that sport has the power to be a force for good in the world.

"Football, the most popular sport globally, has a genuine ability to bring people together and make a real contribution to communities.

"We understand that there are different and strongly held views about engagement in the Middle East but see it as positive that debate about the key issues has been stimulated directly by the first World Cup being held in the region.

"We hope that these conversations will lead to greater understanding and empathy towards all people and that progress will be achieved."

Featured Image Credit: WENN Rights Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo/PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Celebrity, World Cup