Fifa World Cup 2022: Comedian Joe Lycett admits shredded money in David Beckham Qatar row was fake as he donates £10k to charity

Comedian Joe Lycett has claimed the £10,000 he shredded in a public stunt aimed at criticising David Beckham’s involvement as an ambassador for the Fifa World Cup in Qatar was fake.

Lycett, who appeared to destroy the money in a shredding machine during the stunt livestreamed on Sunday, said the £10,000 had instead been donated directly towards LGBTQ+ charities. He said the donation had been made even before he first aired details of the planned stunt.

The comic had set the former England footballer a deadline of midday on Sunday to take action after it was reported Beckham had signed a controversial £10 million deal with the Fifa World Cup hosts. Homosexuality is still illegal in Qatar and anyone found participating in same-sex sexual activity can be punished with up to seven years in prison.

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Lycett said in a video message posted to Twitter: “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.

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"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.

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"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.”

Lycett had previously offered to donate £10,000 of his own money to LGBTQ+ charities if Beckham ended the sponsorship before the tournament started, and if not he said he would livestream himself shredding the money along with Beckham’s “status as gay icon”.

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A screenshot taken from the Twitter feed @joelycett of comedian Joe Lycett appearing to shred £10,000 of his own money after he presented David Beckham with an ultimatum to pull out of his role as a Qatar ambassador or he would destroy the cash. Picture: Joe Lycett/PA Wire

Lycett added in his latest video message: “It was an empty threat designed to get people talking. In many ways it was like your deal with Qatar, David – total bulls**t from the start.”

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The comedian then proceeded the shred a copy of gay lifestyle magazine Attitude from June 2002, featuring Beckham on its front cover.

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