Joe Lycett: Lockdown bereavement explains anger behind fake Sue Gray report

Joe Lycett penned a made-up version of Sue Gray's report. (PA)
Joe Lycett penned a made-up version of Sue Gray's report. (PA)

Joe Lycett has said he feels "f****** fantastic" about ruffling government feathers with his fake Sue Gray report, after not getting to be with his best friend when he died because he was following COVID rules.

The comedian amused fans when he penned his own version of the report into the alleged Downing Street lockdown parties, and it apparently sparked a panic in the government as some people thought it was the real thing.

Lycett has now penned a long message on Instagram sharing that he lost his best friend to cancer during lockdown and saying he sometimes writes comedy as a way of using his anger.

The star said it had been "an odd couple of days".

Read more: Joe Lycett goes back to his own name after changing it to Hugo Boss

He went on: "I write comedy sometimes as a way of using anger. I write a daft letter about a parking fine or change my name to Hugo Boss, or fake a Sue Gray report, all essentially because I'm angry.

"I'm angry right now probably for the same reason many other people are angry. In the early stages of lockdown in 2020 my best friend died from cancer. He was the person who had been with me through my journey in comedy the most closely; he had been to the smallest pub gigs all the way up to the Apollo and when I was first on Graham Norton.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson wears a face mask during a visit to RAF Valley in Anglesey, North Wales. The Prime Minister is set to face further questions over a police investigation into partygate as No 10 braces for the submission of Sue Gray's report into possible lockdown breaches. Picture date: Thursday January 27, 2022.
No 10 is bracing for Sue Gray's report into possible lockdown breaches. (PA)

"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."

Lycett said he wasn't a political comic and that although he doesn’t vote Conservative he is "not in the business of trashing them for the sake of it either".

However, he said he feels "this lot" are "about power and little else".

Joe Lycett during the filming of the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London.
The comedian said he is angry. (PA)

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"They torch traditions and institutions with ease if it helps them retain their grip," he said.

"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."

The star said he expects the real report "will probably change nothing".

He added: "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. Let me be clear: it feels absolutely f****** fantastic."

Lycett’s parody had seven points under the heading: “A summary of my main findings.”

It said there was a "culture of COVID-19 regulation rule breaking at Number 10” and that “games were played which were known as Slow Dance and Pass The A******”. Another point said that at one bash a senior minister “insisted all cabinet ministers get onto a table and perform 'Pure And Simple' by Hear’Say”.

Watch: Joe Lycett jokes about 'storming off' Sunday Brunch