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Watch Joe Lycett shred David Beckham’s Attitude cover and ‘gay icon’ status

The comedian has revealed the £10,000 he 'shredded' was in fact fake - but he does have one thing that can go in the bin.

By Emily Maskell

Joe Lycett shreds David Beckham's 2002 Attitude cover (Image: Twitter/@joelycett)
Joe Lycett shreds David Beckham's 2002 Attitude cover (Image: Twitter/@joelycett)

Comedian Joe Lycett, who has had everyone talking about his stunts the past week, revealed that he did not shred £10,000 over David Beckham’s Qatar deal after all. 

While the money shredding may have been fake, the removal of Beckham’s status as a gay icon is certainly real.

In his “final message to David Beckham,” Lycett does his last act of shredding: Beckham’s June 2002 Attitude magazine cover. With it goes Beckham’s status as a gay icon.

As Lycett notes: “This was the first ever cover of a gay magazine with a Premier League footballer on it.”

“I asked Attitude if I could shred it and they were more than happy to oblige” – we can confirm.

Lycett places the Attitude cover into a paper shredder held up by bricks on a table and watches as Beckham’s face disappears into the machine.

Lycett’s stunt has illuminated that Beckham’s LGBTQ+ allyship is disingenuous when he reportedly signed a multimillion-pound deal with Qatar over which Lycett gave the footballer a £10,000 ultimatum to end his affiliation ahead of the 2022 World Cup. 

It’s illegal to be gay in Qatar with punishments including prison sentences or even death – the advocacy group Human Rights Watch recently reported that six LGBTQ Qataris had been beaten and sexually harassed while in police custody. These reports were denied by Qatar.

In the original video, Lycett said if Beckham doesn’t rescind his ambassador status the money will be shredded, if he does, the 34-year-old comedian will donate the £10,000 to charities that support gay people in football.

Beckham failed to respond, he’s remained silent about the whole thing, but the likes of England footballers Jake Daniels and Beth Mead, Scotland’s Zander Murray, and Australia’s Josh Cavallo have spoken out.

It looked like Lycett carried out his promise, but he’s now revealed that the £10,000 apparently shredded was fake and that “the money that went into the shredder was real, but the money that came out was fake.”

He clarifies “the £10,000 had already been donated to LGBTQ+ charities before I even pressed send on the initial tweet last week.”

Stonewall seem to be among the charities Lycett donated to, the organisation shared: “We are very proud to be one of the LGBTQ+ charities mentioned! Thank you SO much [Joe Lycett] for supporting our work towards LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion in sport.”

Lycett continues that he never expected to hear from Beckham in the first place and this whole ordeal “was an empty threat, designed to get people talking.”

“In many ways, it was like your deal with Qatar David, total b******* from the start.”

Lycett ends the fiasco with a flourish, saying he was “off down the gay village to have a few pints.”

Many have been protesting the Qatar World Cup and most recent reports that the captains of nine nations, including England, will no longer wear One Love armbands, a mark of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, over potential of imposed sanctions.

The FIFA World Cup will be held from 20 November to 18 December 2022.