Joe Lycett hailed as 'national treasure' over David Beckham special

Watch: Joe Lycett shares Got Your Back trailer for David Beckham special

Joe Lycett has been hailed a "national treasure" by fans for calling out David Beckham's support of the Qatar World Cup and criticising his allyship in a TV special.

Thursday night's episode of Got Your Back saw comedian Lycett finally receive a response from Beckham's team about his deal with Qatar to support the World Cup, which previously prompted Lycett to pretend to shred £10,000 in protest although he later revealed he had donated the money to LGBTQ+ charities.

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Beckham's statement read: "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.

Joe Lycett Christmas special  (Channel 4)
Joe Lycett's Christmas special focussed on David Beckham. (Channel 4)

"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."

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Although Lycett had been told he was not allowed to make a direct reaction to the statement, he closed the episode with a blistering attack on fair weather allies that left viewers impressed.

Lycett said: "I want to talk about allies, in particular celebrities and companies who like to think they're allies to our community, who are happy to slap a rainbow on when it doesn't cost them anything, but looked the other way when it came to the World Cup.

Joe Lycett with David Beckham's Attitude cover which he shredded in an earlier protest. (Channel 4)
Joe Lycett with David Beckham's Attitude cover which he shredded in an earlier protest. (Channel 4)

"What I say is that we need allies, but allies we can rely on, not to run away the moment it looks difficult or when the first yellow card is threatened.

"We need everyone to be our allies, and we need them to remember that being an ally is for life, not just for Christmas specials."

One viewer tweeted: "Joe Lycett is a National f***ing treasure."

Someone else agreed: "Joe Lycett is a national treasure, working class hero and all round decent person."

A mural of David Beckham near the Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar. Picture date: Friday December 16, 2022. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)
David Beckham has been promoting World Cup hosts Qatar. (PA)

Another person wrote: "“An LGBTQ+ ally is for life, not just for Christmas”. Joe Lycett’s closing statement on his show tonight, was so f***ing powerful. Keep fighting the good fight, @joelycett. Oh and f*** you, David Beckham."

Others agreed that the closing speech was incredibly powerful.

A viewer tweeted: "You can actually feel @joelycett's anger through the screen. Right there with you, Joe."

Someone else agreed: "Could feel @joelycett emotions through the screen during that speech. Shame on David Beckham, McDonalds, Budweiser and all the other hypocrites. Forever an ally."

Joe Lycett was praised for his Christmas special. (Channel 4)
Joe Lycett was praised for his Christmas special. (Channel 4)

Another person commented: "Just finished watching the Joe Lycett special and agreed with every word. You could hear the anger and pain in his voice at the end: "Happy to slap a rainbow on when it doesn't cost anything, but look away when a yellow card is threatened." Oh, and f*** you David Beckham."

Fans of the comedian shared how much they appreciate him and that he had gone up in their estimation even more after the Channel 4 special.

One person tweeted: "I don’t say this lightly, but I think Joe Lycett is well on the way to become the most significant public figure in Britain in this generation. Sitting at a specific point between mainstream comedy and subversive performance art, I’m struggling to think of anyone else like him."

Someone else wrote: "I urge everyone to watch Joe Lycett VS David Beckham on Channel 4!! @joelycett really is the nations hero I love him so so much."