Joe Lycett: what did the comedian say in Laura Kuenssberg interview to make Daily Mail front pages?

The comedian claimed he is ‘extremely’ right-wing, before assuring everyone he wasn’t being ‘sarcastic’
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Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, a new BBC morning politics show combining interviews and current affairs, began this weekend (4 September).

Kuenssberg, former BBC political editor, was confirmed as the new presenter of the BBC’s flagship Sunday morning politics show in March of this year, filling the shoes of the departing Andrew Marr, who had presented The Andrew Marr show since 2005.

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The new show follows in the footsteps of previous Sunday morning shows, asking tough questions of those in authority.

But it was the performance of a comedian that arguably drove the most controversy on the show’s debut outing.

Joe Lycett appeared alongside former No 10 employee Cleo Watson and Labour’s Emily Thornberry, and watched as Kuenssberg questioned Liz Truss live in the studio.

The comic then amused TV viewers by professing to be a "right-wing" Tory fan when discussing politics.

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But not everybody saw the funny side, and the latest of Lycett’s now trademark satirical pranks has made the front page of the Daily Mail.

But what exactly did he say?

Here is everything you need to know.

What did Joe Lycett say?

(Image: Getty Images/Daily Mail)(Image: Getty Images/Daily Mail)
(Image: Getty Images/Daily Mail)

Lycett could be heard cheering off-screen when Kuenssberg’s interview with Truss ended, saying, "You smashed it, Liz!"

The comedian then sarcastically discussed Truss and the Tory administration, while stating that he is "extremely right wing."

“I know there’s been criticism in the The Mail on Sunday today about leftie liberal wokie comedians on the BBC,” Lycett said of Truss while being interviewed following Truss’ comments to the presenter.

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“I’m actually very right wing and I love it. I thought she gave great clear answers. I know exactly what she’s up to.”

Kuenssberg then stepped in, saying: ““It’s a serious point, Joe. Forgive me. It’s a serious point.”

“I’m not being sarcastic,” Lycett said.

‘Are you reassured?’

Earlier in the show, Truss had been quizzed on her response to growing energy bills in the UK if she were to become the UK’s next prime minister - as is widely expected.

She said: “If I’m elected as prime minister, within one week I will make sure there is an announcement on how we are going to deal with the issue of energy bills and of long-term supply to put this country on the right footing for winter.”

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What she couldn’t do, she said, is "tell you exactly what that announcement would be."

When asked for his response to Truss’ plan, Lycett replied: “She was very clear about what she said. I think you know exactly what’s going to happen. I’m reassured, you’re reassured.”

He then asked Emily Thornberry, who was sitting beside him and stifling laughter, "Are you reassured?"

Later in the episode, Kuenssberg mentioned a news report claiming Truss is a "stronger" Tory leader candidate "than you think.”

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Lycett responded in typically satirical fashion: “The haters will say we’ve had 12 years of the Tories, and that we’re sort of at the dregs of what they’ve got available, and that Liz Truss is sort of like the backwash of the available MPs.

“I wouldn’t say that, because I’m incredibly right-wing, but some people might say that.”

Concerning the cost of living crisis, Lycett said: “As Liz said there, she said it would be wrong to predict the future even though loads of people have predicted we’re going to have real issues with paying energy bills.

“I think she’s right to say, basically, let’s not predict, let’s just see what happens next week. I think she did the right thing there.”

What did the Daily Mail say?

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Many people have praised Lycett for his appearance, with some even calling him a “genius.”

“Kuenssberg not having a clue how to handle the situation because he’s technically not saying anything she can editorially disagree with is just superb,” one viewer said.

But not everybody was happy, and after learning that his stunt had made the front page of the Daily Mail on Monday (5 September), Lycett joked that he would have the newspaper framed.

Because of Lycett’s segment, the BBC was accused of "anti-Tory bias," according to the paper.

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It’s not the first time Lycett, who has previously stated that he is not a political comedian, has ruffled feathers with his political jokes.

In January, Lycett noted that his satirical version of Sue Gray’s findings on the Downing Street parties which allegedly occurred during the Covid-19 lockdowns, had been read aloud in government as a "serious report."

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