Joe Lycett has become well known and love d for his viral stunts – but he’s admitted they take a toll.
Whether it he’s campaigning against white plastic and confronting Shell on greenwashing, or highlighting inequalities faced by the LGTBQ+ community and challenging David Beckham to relinquish his role as a Qatar ambassador, Joe has kept us all gripped with his antics over recent years.
He’s certainly garnered a reputation for orchestrating headline-grabbing stunts, with his latest attack on Becks making national news and becoming the talking point of social media for days on end, as he threatened to shred £10,000 unless the star stood down from his World Cup ambassadorship.
Of course, we remember how that ended as Joe later revealed he never expected a response, and had already donated the cash to LGBTQ+ organisations instead.
But despite provoking important conversations with his work, Joe definitely finds life ‘easier’ if he’s not in the news.
In an interview with Radio Times, the 34-year-old said: ‘It’s much easier for me, actually, if I’m not trending and I’m not in the paper, because I live a much happier, quieter life.
‘And so if anything, I feel pressure from my own mental health to not do big stunts, but then I get wound up by something and I can’t help myself!’
On his Qatar stunt, he added: ‘The Beckham thing was a deliberate attempt to court negative press,’ after he was initially accused of being selfish for wanting to destroy money amid a cost of living crisis, before people knew the full story.
‘I went in expecting and hoping that people would go, “Oh, he can’t do that. That’s a disgrace.”
‘It needed that in order to kind of put fuel on the fire and to get it talked about.’
He also spoke about his appearance on Laura Kuenssberg’s show last year, in which he became a meme for sarcastically throwing support behind Liz Truss, shortly before she became the shortest-serving Prime Minister.
After praising the politician at the time, Joe claimed on the BBC show that he is ‘very right wing’, leading to him bing on the cover of newspapers, which he wasn’t anticipating at all.
‘The ones that do well are always the ones that surprise me,’ he said.
‘I didn’t expect my appearance on the Laura Kuenssberg show to become such a big deal. I thought I was doing a bit of press, essentially.’
He went on: ‘I thought I was going onto a show to sell a few tour tickets. That’s it. And then… for people to stop me in the street about it and for people to essentially claim that I brought down the UK Government – none of that was planned. None of that was expected.’
But he picks his battles carefully, as Joe said he only takes on an issue if he’s ‘really confident that I can get some sort of result’.
First appear at Joe Lycett’s viral stunts put ‘pressure’ on his mental health – but he admits he ‘can’t help himself’