Joe Lycett’s new late night queer TV triumph: ‘Try not to get riled up by what you might see on GB News’

Joe Lycett

Comedian Joe Lycett’s chaotic, camp and delightfully irreverent new Channel 4 show graced our screens for the first time, and he told PinkNews how “honoured” he is to bring queer madness to Friday night telly.

Lycett also addressed the subject of trans rights, urging viewers not to “get riled up” by what they “might see on GB News”.

The first outing of Late Night Lycett, which aired live on Friday (31 March) from The Bond in Digbeth, in Lycett’s home city of Birmingham, was a fabulous, rude and quintessentially Brummie hour of television. 

Viewers were treated to guest appearances from Dame Joanna Lumley, best known for portraying the iconic Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous, Drag Race UK judge Alan Carr and “Queen of Birmingham” Alison Hammond – plus Katherine Ryan who spent the show adrift on a barge. 

With drag queens and kings, a giant papier-mâché head of former prime minister Liz Truss, the camera cutting to Claire Sweeney serving customers in Joe’s local corner shop, and the adorable inclusion of Joe’s aunties Margaret and Pauline, this was high-energy, celebratory silliness of the first order.

Late Night Lycett aired on Trans Day of Visibility, and Lycett addressed this in an exclusive chat with PinkNews.

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On the subject of what he’d say to the government on TDOV, Lycett said: “I’ve got a million things related to trans people, related to asylum seekers, to all sorts of different things that I would love to ask them to change.

“But I think for people at home, it would be to kind of avoid the kind of really electric stuff, the kind of angry stuff that you see and, and look at it and think about it in a way that’s sort of not that angry, I suppose.

“Try not to get too angry about it and get riled up by what you might see on GB News.”

One particularly stand-out segment from Late Night Lycett saw the comedian in character as ‘Richard Yewtree’ on a GB News-style show called “Straight Talking”, where Alan Carr was encouraged to “ruin his career” by reading a right-wing rant off the autocue.

Lycett took aim at TV personalities who moan about “cancel culture” and “woke nonsense” – and when he came out of character, announced that Richard Yewtree and Alan Carr’s autocue statements “were only saying what we were all thinking … if we were b*****ds”.

Speaking to PinkNews, Lycett also recommended British writer Shon Faye’s 2021 book The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice, saying it was “really helpful” for him “in answering some of those questions that I hadn’t quite really grappled with properly in my own mind”.

The show proceeded in a blur of meme-worthy moments, including Alan Carr pole dancing, a doe-eyed dog called Linda Biscuits ‘operating’ one of the cameras and Dame Joanna Lumley calling Lycett a “brat”.

“I’m really amazed and delighted that Channel 4 have been brave to put this show on and it’s exactly what Channel 4 should do,” Lycett said.

“What they are here to do is to give a voice to the unheard and all of that. I just felt like there was a space for a really fun old school live TV show, but within a queer space that celebrated LGBTQ+ culture. 

“I’m very honoured and I know we won’t be able to represent everyone every week. But our goal is to eventually have people from all parts of the community in,” he continued. “And not talking about being part of the community necessarily, but just being there and being visible and having fun and having a good time.

“That’s the whole point of the show.”

Late Night Lycett airs on Fridays at 10pm on Channel 4.