Joe Lycett dedicates Bafta to ‘people still being oppressed in Qatar’

Award-winning comedian Joe Lycett has said in a statement that he is “dedicating” his Bafta to the “people still being oppressed in Qatar”.

The 34-year-old comedian, who did not attend the Bafta TV awards ceremony on Sunday, took home the features award for his special, Joe Lycett Vs Beckham: Got Your Back At Xmas, which covered the controversy surrounding the World Cup that was being hosted in the Middle Eastern country.

The Channel 4 special of his consumer affairs programme featured a stunt in which he threatened to destroy £10,000 of his own money unless David Beckham pulled out of his deal with the World Cup host country, where homosexuality is still illegal.

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David Beckham (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Lycett later revealed he had not destroyed the cash through a shredder and had actually donated the sum to LGBT+ charities.

Former footballer Beckham, 48, responded to Lycett in a statement that aired during his Channel 4 special in which he said he sees it as “positive” that debate about “key issues” had been “stimulated” by the contest being held in the country.

Part of the statement from Lycett at Bafta was read out, with “too rude” parts left out.

The comedian said: “I’m sorry to not be there, but according to my PR team I have shingles.”

The reference to the condition appeared to be about presenter Holly Willoughby, who revealed she had shingles before taking time off from This Morning due to the illness.

Recently, there have been reports that Phillip Schofield, 61, and 42-year-old co-host Willoughby’s relationship has come under strain.

The Sun previously reported the absence had contributed to a “cooling” of their friendship.

In a statement, Schofield told the paper: “As I have said before, Holly is my rock. We’re the best of friends – as always, she is an incredible support on screen, behind the scenes and on the phone.

“Holly has always been there for me, through thick and thin. And I’ve been there for her.

“The last few weeks haven’t been easy for either of us.”