Comedian Joe Lycett has revealed that ‘anger’ motivated his social media stunt in which he shared a fake version of Sue Gray’s report, that he has also claimed caused MPs to ‘panic’ as they thought it was real.
On Thursday, the comedian and TV presenter shared a fake and joke-filled version of the senior civil servant’s inquiry into claims of Covid lockdown-breaking parties in Number 10 and across Whitehall in 2020, including an alleged birthday gathering for Boris Johnson.
Joe, 33, has now come clean about why he pulled the prank, writing in an emotional open letter that it is simply because he is angry at the Government after his friend died in lockdown 2020 when MPs were allegedly breaking the rules.
Addressing the popularity of his prank, he wrote on Twitter: ‘I write comedy sometimes as a way of using anger.’
He went on to say that changing his name to Hugo Boss (a stunt he pulled in 2020 in a bid to get the fashion brand to ease off a small brewery with a similar name) or faking the Sue Gray report is ‘all essentially because I’m angry.
‘I’m angry right now for probably the same reason many other people are angry.’
He revealed that, in the early stages of lockdown 2020 his best friend died from cancer, and that he was unable to be there due to Covid restrictions.
‘He had been ill for a number of years and towards the end I had helped as a part-time carer. I watched him slip away, gradually, over months, and all that comes with it.
‘It’s a long story for another time. But he died, at the start of lockdown, and I wasn’t there because I was following the rules, and we had a tiny insufficient funeral, because we were following the rules, and I drove his kids away from that funeral back to Birmingham without any sort of wake, because we were following the rules, and it felt unnatural and cruel and almost silly, but we did it because we followed the rules.
‘So I suppose like thousands of others with their own stories, I’m angry about that.’
He went on to say that he is ‘not a political comic particularly and rarely if ever make outwardly political statements.’
Sharing his feelings about the Tories, he claimed ‘this lot’ are more into ‘power and little else’.
‘To hell with my dead friend, they think, and all your dead friends and dead relatives. You followed the rules and we didn’t but we’re in power and that’s all that matters so spin on it.
‘So I get angry and I write a few jokes about Sue Gray’s report, a report which will probably change nothing and we’ll all be here again in the not too distant future, in some other scandal, with some other liars. But for now you might wonder how it feels to have been described in the papers as having caused these people ‘chaos’ and ‘mayhem’ and ‘mass panic’ because of a few jokes.
He concluded: ‘Let me be clear: it feels absolutely f**king fantastic.’
The TV favourite had originally tweeted the faux document on Thursday, writing: ‘BREAKING: Leaked Sue Gray report reveals shocking abuse of the rules. Hard to see how the PM can cling on after this.’
The fake findings noted a ‘culture of Covid-19 regulation breaking at Number 10 Downing Street’ and that ‘games were played that were known as “slow dance” and “pass the a**ehole”.’
The jokes continued with a reference to WhatsApp groups being made to ‘organise gatherings’ and that the chats were called ‘definitely a meeting’ and ‘down it street’.
According to Joe’s report, Hear’Say’s Pure and Simple was played at one of the parties, and everyone took ‘twateral flow’ tests.
There was also a reference to the email address ItsAllSueGravyBaby@aol.com at the end of the letter.
While upon close inspection it was clear that it was not, in fact, Ms Gray’s report, it turns out some members of the Cabinet believed it to be a leak.
After his initial post, the Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back star followed it up with a grab of text messages that he claimed were ‘from someone who works for a cabinet minister’.
The messages read: ‘I work in Parliament for the Conservatives and I think you need to kno… Your tweet this morning was read as an actual serious leak from Sue Gray’s report.’
The messages went on: ‘U had MP staff literally running around panicking from what it said. Panic dialling MPs like we need to discuss this right now.’
‘[People were saying] “I can’t believe she used the phrase ‘down it street’.”
The messages from the anonymous person concluded with a bunch of crying laughing emoji, and the praising comment: ‘Absolutely legendary work, well done.’
Mr Johnson continues to anxiously await Ms Gray’s report, which has the potential to trigger a vote of no confidence in his leadership by Tory MPs angered over alleged breaches.
The official inquiry has been long-awaited but its publication was thrown into disarray on Tuesday when Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, who had long resisted calls to investigate, announced that her officers had opened a criminal investigation.
Credit: Original article published here.