Appearing on the Channel 4 talk show on Thursday (1 July), the comedian mentioned that he had given up using white single-use plastic in his home as it was harder to recycle.
However, after host Steph McGovern pointed out one such item in a photo of him that was shown on screen, the comedian commented that he “didn’t realise I was on Newsnight”, before taking off his microphone and walking out of the studio seemingly in anger.
Viewers were left baffled by the exchange, unsure whether Lycett – whose comedy often involves large-scale jokes or pranks – had genuinely stormed off or not.
Posting on Instagram on Friday (2 July), Lycett confirmed that the incident was indeed a trick and had been “planned” to make a point about white plastic recycling.
“Some of you might’ve seen or read that I had a ‘tantrum’ on Steph’s Packed Lunch yesterday and ‘stormed off’ the show,” he wrote. “This is absolutely true. What you might not know is: I planned the whole thing.
“Clear PET plastic bottles are widely recycled and contribute to the circular economy. If you put a clear PET plastic bottle in the recycling there’s a good chance it will become another clear PET plastic bottle. Coloured and in particular white PET plastic bottles are much harder to recycle.”
Lycett continued: “I explained this on Thursday’s show, but later a picture with a bottle (made with white PET plastic) appeared on screen. Steph pointed out my apparent hypocrisy and I KICKED OFF (by ‘KICKED OFF’ I mean ‘took my mic off and left the studio’). All of it was planned, all of it rehearsed.”
Returning to Steph’s Packed Lunch on Friday, the comic told viewers: “Soz, it wasn’t real”, adding that most of the production team hadn’t been in on the joke either.
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“I wanted as many people to know about this story as possible and how do you get press inches?” Lycett asked. “Well, we’ve seen Piers Morgan, we’ve seen Patsy Palmer, you storm off a chat show.”
He continued: “It’s the first time I’ve ever really encouraged people to be slagging me off… I cancelled myself.”
Last year, the 32-year-old legally changed his name to Hugo Boss in protest against the fashion house for targeting small companies and charities who use the word “boss” in their names. He later changed it back.