Things aren’t going all too well for ex-England footballer David Beckham.
After becoming a World Cup ambassador for Qatar – a country which doesn’t have the greatest record on the rights of migrant workers, and where homosexuality is illegal – he faced an ultimatum from comedian Joe Lycett, and has been shunned by the gay magazine Attitude.
A week ago, the Got Your Back funnyman challenged Beckham to end his reported £10 million deal with Qatar, or he would shred £10,000 of his own money on a livestream on Sunday.
Beckham failed to do so – instead claiming on Thursday that the pitch was a “platform for progress” – and so, sure enough, Lycett appeared to destroy the dosh on Sunday by way of a shredder, all while sporting a dress in the colours of the progress Pride flag.
Emphasis on “appeared”, as a day later, Lycett posted a follow-up video in which he revealed the money which came out of the shredder was fake and that he would “never be so irresponsible” as to shred real money.
In the time since he went on camera to ‘shred’ the cash and reveal it was a stunt, some followers were already beginning to express concern over the optics of destroying thousands of pounds during a cost-of-living crisis.
“It was an empty threat, designed to get people talking. In many ways it was like your deal with Qatar, David – total bulls*** from the start,” Lycett said, adding that the £10k had already been donated to LGBTQ+ charities before calling out Beckham last week.
One of them was Stonewall, which thanked the comedian for “supporting our work towards LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion in sport” through its Rainbow Laces campaign.
Picking up a copy of Beckham’s Attitude magazine cover from June 2002, Lycett added there was “one thing I’ll shred”, and so sure enough, with the outlet being “more than happy to oblige”, he destroyed the front cover instead.
Though there was more humour in store from some of the reaction online, as TV journalist Scott Bryan reportedAttitude said in a statement: “We hope that David enjoys the money, because he’s lost the support of the LGBTQ community.”
Yet it was the phrasing “enjoy the money” which prompted a handful of users to reference a viral scene and quote from a classic episode of Channel 4 cooking show Come Dine With Me.
Back in 2016, contestant and sore loser Peter Marsh sparked memes galore when revealed he had finished in last place.
The infamous quote goes: “You won, Jane … Enjoy the money, I hope it makes you happy. Dear lord, what a sad little life, Jane.
“You ruined my night completely so you could have the money. I hope that you spend it on getting some lessons in grace and decorum, because you have all the grace of a reversing dump truck without any tyres on.”
And so, when Attitude issued their statement, similar comments followed suit.
“You’ve won, David. Enjoy the money. I hope it makes you very happy. Dear lord, what a sad little life, David. You have lost our support completely, so you could have the money,” joked one.
“Dear lord, what a sad little life, David,” quipped another.