Comedian Joe Lycett will henceforth be known as Hugo Boss, he has announced.
The Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Live at the Apollo star has taken on the new moniker in an act of solidarity with small businesses across the UK, who have found themselves the targets of petty copyright lawsuits from the fashion firm.
Here’s everything you need to know about the bizarre turn of events.
Who is Joe Lycett?
Joe Lycett is a stand-up comedian from Birmingham who has appeared on a host of British panel shows, including
QI and 8 Out of 10 Cats, and also as the presenter of The Great British Sewing Bee.
He was shortlisted for the 2009 Chortle Student Comedian of the Year award, before being voted one of British comedy’s best newcomers by both the BBC and the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in the following years.
In more recent years, he has become a regular guest on a host of TV and radio shows, while also appearing on various popular podcasts such as My Dad Wrote A Porno.
Why has he changed his name?
Ever since Prince turned himself into a symbol, the subject of celebrity name changes has always been a source of public fascination. There have been plenty of interesting examples over the years - Snoop Dogg became Snoop Lion, Puff Daddy became P Diddy and Cheryl Cole became simply Cheryl.
Joe Lycett has now joined that group by borrowing the name of another famous figure – fashion mogul Hugo Boss.
He explained the move as an act of defiance against luxury brand’s practice of targeting small businesses which use the name ‘Boss’.
“It's clear that @HUGOBOSS HATES people using their name,” the comedian said, via Twitter.“Unfortunately for them this week I legally changed my name by deed poll and I am now officially known as Hugo Boss. All future statements from me are not from Joe Lycett but from Hugo Boss. Enjoy.”
It's clear that @HUGOBOSS HATES people using their name. Unfortunately for them this week I legally changed my name by deed poll and I am now officially known as Hugo Boss. All future statements from me are not from Joe Lycett but from Hugo Boss. Enjoy. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/IlDoCrfmaO
— Hugo Boss (@joelycett) March 1, 2020
Boss Brewing in Swansea was reportedly hit with a cease and desist order from Hugo Boss when they tried to register their brand, ultimately costing them £10,000 in legal fees. They thanked Lycett/Boss via Twitter, describing his name change as “just the most brilliant show of support”.
Hugo Boss, a company that boasts billions of pounds in profits every year, has apparently gone so far as to even pressure charities that use Boss in their name – In 2018, DarkGirlBoss received the same treatment after trying to trademark their own name.
Lycett, or Boss as he is now known, also used the opportunity to remind his followers of some other aspects of Hugo Boss’ past – the company’s founder was a long-time supporter of Adolf Hitler, and the firm manufactured some Nazi SS uniforms during the Second World War, using slave labour.
The full story of Lycett/Boss’s name-changing exploits will be explored on his new Channel 4 show, Got Your Back. The show aims to help consumers take on big companies and achieve justice, while having a few laughs along the way.
This article originally appearedon our sister site, The i.