JAMEELA JAMIL [00:00:00]
Hello and welcome to another episode of “I Weigh” with Jameela Jamil. I hope you’re well. I’m fine. I’m feeling very grateful and safe and afraid because California is in real trouble. This is where I’ve been spending my lockdown. I mean, not only are we having our asses kicked by Covid, but now there is a fire cluster fuck happening across the state. There is something like, I think 300 fires, 30 of which are considered to be quite serious. And there was a firenado last week, which sounds made up, but it isn’t. It’s a fucking tornado with fire in it. So it’s pretty heartbreaking just to know that after everything that this country and the city and the state has already been through, to know that there’s just more ahead when people are already just going through so much. Just please, whatever you still have, feel so grateful for it. Practice that gratitude. And also anything you can spare. Let’s all join forces to give to those in need. I mean, all around the world, of course. But right now, those who are losing their homes at rapid speed in California. With all of the sadness and horror in the world right now, I do feel like it is important that we are able to access some sort of light and joy. And that’s why while this podcast is, you know, about something quite serious, which is mental health and shame and trauma, etcetera, I try to inject as many humorous people into it as I possibly can. And today’s guest is no exception. He is a friend of mine. He is extremely funny, extremely interesting and insightful and completely unique. So unique that, and he doesn’t actually know this. I can’t believe I didn’t tell him when we were sitting down together. But all of the good parts of Tahani, the loveable, I’m pretty sure I copied from this person. He was definitely part of my inspiration for the things that I love about Tahani, because I like to create from scratch and the things that I hate about her, I copied from some people in the UK who I can’t name cause I’m still friends with them on Facebook. Anyway, I am so excited for you to get to know Joe. Joe’s had such an extraordinary rise in the comedy industry. He’s also a wonderful, wonderful TV host, such, such a frank and hysterical young voice. He has also been through something extremely traumatic this year, so unexpectedly. He lost his best friend earlier this year just before lockdown and not to Covid. To something else that he’d been suffering with for a while. And he’s had to go through this grief period alone in lockdown. And I think quite a lot of people out there can probably relate to having to sit in their grief during a moment where there’s no distraction, there’s no way to escape it. You just have to sit in it. And so Joe talks to me about grief at length. And it’s also wonderful to hear a man talking about his emotions like that and what it’s like to lose someone, what it’s like to lose a friend. But just generally it feels so timely to have that difficult conversation. And he really bared his whole soul, sometimes in very funny and disgusting ways, but also in very moving ways. We talked about so many different things, anxiety, etc., comedy, his, his truly bizarre form of activism that is actually highly effective and very, very entertaining. I’m not going to say more because you should just get to know him and after you’ve listened to this episode, I strongly suggest you pour yourself a cup of tea and sit down and YouTube him for about 11 hours, which is what I do whenever I miss him. So without further ado, please enjoy the idyllic, Joe Lycett. Joe Lycett, welcome to “I Weigh”. How are you?
JOE LYCETT [00:04:15]
I’m really good. How are you?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:04:17]
I’m all right. It’s just so nice to see your face. It’s been years.
JOE LYCETT [00:04:20]
How hot do you think I am?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:04:22]
I think you’re super hot. I was just thinking. I’ve had like a-.
JOE LYCETT [00:04:25]
Let’s find out. Hang on.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:04:26]
JOE LYCETT [00:04:30]
I am 37.1. I am super hot. That’s-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:04:33]
Wait, isn’t that low?
JOE LYCETT [00:04:34]
That’s quite close. No, I think another couple of-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:04:36]
38.6 is, is normal. You’re under, I think your temperature is under what it’s supposed to be.
JOE LYCETT [00:04:42]
No, no. This is, this is centigrade. Center-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:04:45]
JOE LYCETT [00:04:45]
Is it centigrade?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:04:46]
JOE LYCETT [00:04:46]
Centi-, centimeters. Centipede. 37.1, I think is just short of a fever. But I just had a nap so I’m slightly, I’m slightly overheating when I’ve had a nap.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:04:57]
Well also, you had a hot dal just before you spoke to me.
JOE LYCETT [00:05:00]
And I had a hot dal.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:05:01]
Indian food for you before you talk to your Indian friend. I, I, I was just thinking on my way here.
JOE LYCETT [00:05:07]
I’ve just had a paratha and, what other Indian foods are there? Just any curry, I suppose. Isn’t it most curries?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:05:16]
That’s exactly, it’s all just curry.
JOE LYCETT [00:05:17]
I’ve had all of it. I’ve had all of it.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:05:19]
I was thinking on the way here about the moment that we actually became friends and I think, I can crystallize it down to a single moment of you and I were having our first dinner together. It was like a friend date.
JOE LYCETT [00:05:31]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:05:31]
It was one of the houses, the Soho Houses. I think Shoreditch.
JOE LYCETT [00:05:35]
Yes, yes, probably.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:05:36]
And we were sitting opposite each other and it was so loud and packed in there that I could not for love nor money. Get the waiter’s attention in order for us to get the bill so we could leave. And so in a moment of complete panic, I just barked at him.
JOE LYCETT [00:05:50]
Yeah. Oh, God, I totally forgot that.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:05:53]
The one sound that would get his attention is him thinking, why the fuck is there a dog in this restaurant? And then immediately I got the bill and you looked at me with eyes that told me we were going to be friends for a really long time.
JOE LYCETT [00:06:05]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:06:06]
I think I just I, it was so unexpected. I didn’t announce it. I just gave one clean “ruff”.
JOE LYCETT [00:06:13]
Yeah, yeah, I’d actually forgotten that. And it’s bring, I can, I’m back there in that chair and I’m, I’m sure I’d had some sort of Indian cuisine on that occasion as well probably.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:06:26]
JOE LYCETT [00:06:26]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:06:28]
That’s your anti-racism.
JOE LYCETT [00:06:30]
I was, yes. I only do it then, just to prove that I’m not a racist.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:06:34]
JOE LYCETT [00:06:34]
‘Cause the rest time, I’m not actively racist. I was so thrown at, thrown a back by it. It was an absolute ridiculous thing to do. But you literally barked at a waiter.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:06:46]
Yeah. Not in a rude way. Just in a please pay some attention to me way.
JOE LYCETT [00:06:51]
Well, no, it wasn’t. You, you were getting agitated. I can, I remember sort of watching you sort of flailing about, sort of struggling to get his attention. And, gosh, that is annoying, particularly when you’re in somewhere like SoHo House or wherever, it was Shoreditch House. You’ve paid membership there to be there. You feel like you should get better service than your average-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:07:11]
No, I just needed to go. Like I had to go home and he wouldn’t look at me. So I, I barked. Like a winner.
JOE LYCETT [00:07:17]
And it did work. It was an effective strategy.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:07:21]
So anyone out there who needs to figure out, if we ever go to restaurants ever again, that is a golden tactic. How are you coping with lockdown, Joe? You all right? You look great.
JOE LYCETT [00:07:30]
Yeah. Thank you. I’m, I’m quite well at the moment. I am. I’ve sort of, like everyone, I’ve sort of struggled with a bit. Had a nice time, but I worked my absolute tits off before lockdown kicked in. And I was looking forward anyway to having some time off. And then suddenly the whole world just sort of stopped. And I was like, oh, okay. And, and so what I realized because, I found that I sort of was suffering with this sort of weird anxiety beforehand. And myself and everyone that I know had sort of put it down to being I’m just working too much. And actually, I think part of why I found the anxiety lifted in lockdown was because I didn’t have to hang out with loads of the people that I would normally have hung out with, not to slack off my friends and family. But I realized that actually I’d just, I spend a lot of my time just saying, oh, yes, I’ll go for dinner or, oh yes, I’ll go to that pub. And actually, I really liked just sitting on my own and having a think.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:08:34]
JOE LYCETT [00:08:34]
And I don’t, I haven’t done, I haven’t done lots of that. So lockdown has been a real way of doing that. Problem with me is I think normally the conclusion that I arrived at is open a bottle of Picpoul. And so I’ve just, the natural thought process has ended with a glass of wine. And so I’ve just been shitfaced for the entire time. I’m-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:08:54]
On your own, pissed.
JOE LYCETT [00:08:55]
I’ve quite enjoyed it.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:08:56]
Just on your own, pissed as a fart for four months.
JOE LYCETT [00:09:00]
Normally on a Zoom call, basically. So I normally have a FaceTime or Zoom call and, but I’ll be drunk. Can you hear what’s going on in the background?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:09:08]
Yeah. What is that?
JOE LYCETT [00:09:10]
So because it’s Thursday night, on my road, I live on quite a long road in Birmingham and it’s full of absolute lunatics and they started, because we don’t do the applause on a Thursday anymore. They wander down the road with like foghorns and stuff. Because we used to applaud for the NHS, but now they go down with foghorns. And actually it’s really nice because they do collections for food banks, whatever, but they really go to town on it and really make a racket.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:09:37]
Oh, that’s so great.
JOE LYCETT [00:09:37]
And I did tell them, I, I put a note through everyone’s door. I said I will be speaking to Jameela Jamil at 7:00 o’clock sharp and please do not make that racket outside my house. And they failed me.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:09:47]
Well, maybe they’re, maybe they’re actually applauding me then, not the NHS nurses for the great service of this podcast. Do you know what I mean?
JOE LYCETT [00:09:53]
Oh yeah. Sorry. I didn’t think of that, you know?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:09:57]
Didn’t click. No, that’s fine.
JOE LYCETT [00:09:58]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:09:59]
How long had you had that weird anxiety that you described? Before lockdown.
JOE LYCETT [00:10:05]
So the first, so that the symptom, which is really annoying, is it makes me feel sick and I can’t eat or drink when it’s at its worst and everything closes up, but not even that, like I start to sort of, at its absolute worst, sort of wretch. When I have like a glass of water or whatever, it’s sort of really-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:10:22]
JOE LYCETT [00:10:24]
Yeah. Isn’t that annoying?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:10:24]
That’s so annoying. But also, did you-? Is that why it took so long to find? Because it was what? Last April, last summer or something that you started feeling-.
JOE LYCETT [00:10:32]
It was last summer when I, yeah, it was last summer, I went to the Edinburgh Festival and I had a beer and it made me feel a bit weird. And then I just, gradually as that day went on, I couldn’t really, I couldn’t really eat or drink anything. And then it just got worse and worse. And to the point, I thought, well, I’ve got some stomach issues. So I went to bed and just took myself off. And I’m, I wonder whether I did have an actual physical symptom that has just been, you know, built up in my head a little bit. And then it just sort of stuck around on and off for months. And I gradually started to realize because I was reading a passage in Bella Mackie’s book called “Jog On”, which is a brilliant book about how jogging sort of helped her with her anxiety. And she just described having a panic attack and all of that stuff. And I thought, oh, this, ah! It’s all tick, tick, tick. And so I realized it was, was that. And I’ve since been seeing-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:11:32]
Did you not think for a while that it was just like an actual illness? Like it might be a stomach illness.
JOE LYCETT [00:11:36]
Yeah. Well, that’s it. Because I. Yeah. I thought I had like some sort of stomach whatever. But no, it was, it’s in the old brain box. So that’s, I found it, a really interesting exercise. So there’s a therapist I’ve been seeing. And she, the main trigger was beer. And she just said, your homework is have a pint of beer. And I’d love that as a, as a homework. But at the time, because beer was so terrifying to me. I was like, oh, I’m not sure I can do that. And she said, well, what’s the worst that could happen? I said, well, I’ll be sick. And she’s like, you’re in the house on your own. Just be sick. So what? Then at least, you know, were you’re at. And so I just had a struggle with the first pint and then there was the second part and the third pint. And then I saw it as like a bit of a challenge. And that’s one of the things I’ve discovered with anxiety, is that if you, kind of, when you feel in a like a panic attack or whatever coming on, don’t resist it. And actually almost it sounds ridiculous, sort of will it on, and go, “Come on, then. Let’s have a fucking party”.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:12:36]
JOE LYCETT [00:12:36]
Because then, then it doesn’t have anything to hold onto.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:12:39]
Catherine Bohart talks about that. The fact that you’ve just got to see if the world does actually end when you do the thing that you are most afraid of.
JOE LYCETT [00:12:46]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:12:46]
And I think that’s great.
JOE LYCETT [00:12:48]
And it doesn’t, does it?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:12:48]
No, it doesn’t. Wait, so OK. So do you have anxiety from beer? Or do you have anxiety from social? What is the anxiety? ‘Cause that’s the thing that I don’t understand. So is it? Could you be having like a bad reaction to beer or does beer trigger you to remember something? Or is it-?
JOE LYCETT [00:13:05]
I think the beer triggers, trigg, it triggers me to remember something.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:13:09]
JOE LYCETT [00:13:12]
But, which is essentially that moment at that time when I was having that beer and suddenly I was, and it was a social thing. I was around people and I felt like I should be having fun and everyone else is having fun. And I was thinking, I can’t have fun because I can’t swallow. And then you start to go into this sort of weird spiral head thing.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:13:30]
Oh, that’s interesting. So something. So, so actually the anxiety is kind of a symptom of what happened in that moment.
JOE LYCETT [00:13:37]
In a way, yeah.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:13:38]
JOE LYCETT [00:13:39]
I think that, that, those, that was, the moment that I remember specifically as being in a gig watching a standup show. And my friend Harry bought me a beer and we sat down and we were like watching this standup show and it’s really good. Aaron Chin, his name is, very funny. And I just couldn’t drink the beer. And I just said, oh, you have it, ’cause I can’t have it.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:14:00]
Well, he ruined your life. You should sue.
JOE LYCETT [00:14:03]
Well, I am in the process of suing. Don’t you worry.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:14:05]
Oh good, I’m sure you are.
JOE LYCETT [00:14:07]
Well no, the other thing is, so a friend of mine, a very close friend of mine, had died just before lockdown. So this is the other thing that was sort of slightly weird about lockdown is that this friend of mine, he’s argue-, well, he has, he’s been to more things than anyone else in my life in terms of like he sort of followed me to gigs, little gigs all the way up to going on Graham Norton’s show and all these different things that I’ve done. And he was pretty much at all of them and was a very close friend. And he got diagnosed a few years ago with bowel cancer, which gradually progressed and then he died over, I think it was just a week before we locked down. No, no, sorry. A couple of weeks after lockdown, the dates sort of confused me. But he died of stomach cancer, bowel cancer. But his stomach was the kind of the source of a lot of his illness, obviously. And I think imagery from that has created because I always sort of prided myself on having quite a strong temperament in terms of, I watched like “I’m A Celeb” and they’re eating kangaroo assholes. And I’m like, I could have five of those. I love, I’ll dip that in a, in a nice mayo and that would be a nice meal for me. I’ve sort of, I don’t mind eating anything. I’m quite, I’m quite excited to explore food. And then suddenly I can’t even drink a glass of water. And I think some of the, I suppose I’ve been through a bit of a trauma watching what happened to him. And I think that in some ways probably added to it all. But anxiety, in my experience, seems to not have one exact source, it’s like kind of build, build up a things. And, and you just, you’re kind of clutching a little bit around, OK, well, what started it? What? Whatever. I think if you’re really trying to find a specific answer, you’re not going to get one. And essentially, you’ve just got to ride, ride that crazy wave.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:16:11]
Yeah. And they say that it’s sort of a symptom as something that always starts with a gentle knock, just sort of like a little, a little something. And then if you ignore it and you keep doing whatever it is that’s triggering you, it’ll, the knock will get a bit louder and then it turns into a bang and then it’s like boom, breakdown.
JOE LYCETT [00:16:29]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:16:29]
And so I, I think that busy people and showbiz people as well, you know, where we’re trained to always be sort of shiny and fun and come with the good anecdotes and be the sort of life and soul of the party. And so therefore, we are very, very inclined to miss those early symptoms because we’re so busy focusing on others and we’re performers as well. So we just built to perform even-.
JOE LYCETT [00:16:54]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:16:54]
Sort of social environments, even with each other over the phone. There’s an element of it at all times. And so-.
JOE LYCETT [00:17:01]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:17:01]
I think that for a lot of people anyway, that the lockdown has created this stillness that you cannot escape from. And so therefore you can hear the knocking louder than ever before. I’m really sorry about what happened with your friend and I, I imagine it must be quite strange to not have that person to call during a time like this when you’re so used to them witnessing your life.
JOE LYCETT [00:17:27]
Yeah. It’s also strange to not have, not have the chance to grieve properly, you know? ‘Cause you sort of, he died and then everything changed. And so we didn’t, we had like a, you know, ten people at the funeral, whatever. We didn’t have a proper thing. And we will eventually. But you know, he had a lot of friends, a lot people loved him. And we didn’t get that farewell. We didn’t get that kind of shared crying and hugging and all of that because we weren’t allowed to. And so I sort of feel like I’ve got delayed grief as well. Like I’ve got this sort of pending sadness, because actually a lot of the time, I’m actually I’m generally quite good with grief anyway. I’m sort of relatively philosophical about it, but I haven’t cried as much as I would have liked because I love a good cry. I really like getting it out. And I haven’t done that. It’ll come.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:18:23]
It’ll come when you least expect it and least want it.
JOE LYCETT [00:18:26]
Perhaps on this podcast.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:18:28]
Exactly. Challenge. Challenge accepted, Joe.
JOE LYCETT [00:18:34]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:18:34]
Why are you good at dealing with grief normally? How are you philosophical about grief? I feel like that could be handy to everyone right now considering that we are surrounded by it. We are just marinating in grief currently.
JOE LYCETT [00:18:46]
Oh well, I’m not sure I’ve got any wisdom to impart. It’s just, um. It’s just the way I handle grief.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:18:51]
Just stiff up a bit. The kangaroo asshole theory.
JOE LYCETT [00:18:51]
I’ve only had-. Yeah. Just shove more in.Yeah. What you have to do is you have to, if you lose one friend, you have to kill another so that you sort of overwhelm yourself with it and you get on, move on. No. I find when my, my grandfather died. And then another friend of mine died. And I was very sad about both of them. I have a really, it normally takes me a few days and normally around the funeral, a few days after I have a massive cry, like a proper Claire Danes in “Romeo and Juliet”. Like ugly cry.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:19:26]
I love a big ahhhhh.
JOE LYCETT [00:19:29]
Yeah. One of them.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:19:31]
Big on that.
JOE LYCETT [00:19:31]
Get it out. It’s like doing a big poo. It’s like a big old greif poo.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:19:35]
Out of your eyes.
JOE LYCETT [00:19:35]
Out of your eyes. You do a little grief poo out of your eyes. It’s mad though. Isn’t it? Crying. Like what, what evolutionary purpose does it serve to sort of leak out of your face?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:19:46]
I know, but I have a fucking allergic reaction to tears. I don’t know if other people have this, but my face cannot cope with saltwater at all. So as soon as I cry. I immediately look like I’ve just got bollocks, but I’ve replaced where my eyes used to be. My once big brown eyes are just two old gandee bollocks. That’s it.
JOE LYCETT [00:20:07]
I love that.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:20:07]
JOE LYCETT [00:20:08]
I might have to. I might have to draw that. I have to do a painting of that.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:20:11]
Thank you. Yes, please. So I can’t, I can’t even, the whole time I’m crying. I have to. This is really embarrassing. But I can never fully immerse myself in grief because the whole damn, I’m crying. I have to like immediately ask James to go get me a cold wet cloth.
JOE LYCETT [00:20:26]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:20:26]
So I have to sit there, aaaaah, wash, wash, wash, wash, wash. Soap, soap, soap. Water, water, water. So I’m having an allergic reaction the entire time I’m crying. So I haven’t gotten to fully indulge in a big old weap in ages.
JOE LYCETT [00:20:42]
It’s so good. It is really good. You need to pop something on, what will trigger it? Like “Titanic” or something like that.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:20:48]
No. I don’t, only how much I fucking hate “Titanic”. Is the only thing that would make me cry. I hate that film. Don’t care. Don’t care.
JOE LYCETT [00:20:55]
I only mentioned it just because I cried heavily at that when I was a child. I’m not sure if I watched it now whether it would affect me. Why don’t you like the film?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:21:03]
I don’t know. I think, my mom loved the film and so we went and saw it in the morning. And then she made me see it four more times that day. But she just loved it so much and-.
JOE LYCETT [00:21:16]
Sorry. So sorry. So you saw you saw “Titanic” five times in one day?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:21:24]
It was either four or five times. But we just stayed and watched it again and again and agin.
JOE LYCETT [00:21:29]
I mean, fair enough. It’s, that’s too many times. It’s too many times to watch “Titanic”.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:21:40]
I haven’t really tied. I haven’t somehow tied that to why I hate that film. Anyway, we, we took talking about your very serious loss of a friend to the stupidest place ever. Are you checking your temperature again? Okay. Checking it again.
JOE LYCETT [00:22:02]
Yeah. I’ve gone, I’ve gone down by .1. I’m 37 now.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:22:06]
There you go. So we’re sav-, I’m saving your life in real time.
JOE LYCETT [00:22:12]
I’m calming down. You are.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:22:12]
All right. Sorry guys. We’ve gone on such a tangent. OK. So. Yeah, so. So next time I have a week “Terms of Endearment”. That is the film that always kills me. And I, I cry, cry and cry. So I’m going to-.
JOE LYCETT [00:22:23]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:22:23]
I’m going to do that. So you are yet to have-.
JOE LYCETT [00:22:25]
Have a Benadryl before, you know, some sort of antihistamines.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:22:28]
JOE LYCETT [00:22:28]
So your skin doesn’t blow up or maybe sort of, to put some sort of Vaseline on the cheek. So it just sort of rolls off the Vaseline.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:22:35]
I think. I think that’s a good idea. So you are yet to have the big poo out of your eyes. The big cry. And-.
JOE LYCETT [00:22:41]
I’ve had a few little poos.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:22:44]
JOE LYCETT [00:22:44]
Out of my eyes.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:22:46]
JOE LYCETT [00:22:46]
I’ve done some little farts. I love that idea that you do a little gassy farts, cry farts.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:22:54]
JOE LYCETT [00:22:54]
And they make fart noises.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:22:55]
And then is it like because life isn’t back to normal, does that make it more surreal?
JOE LYCETT [00:23:01]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:23:01]
I guess because therefore it doesn’t, you’re so used to going to places, I guess with that person. But I don’t want to harp on about this. I’m not trying to make you cry on this podcast. I just, I think because I, I know people, I lost someone a couple of months ago and I know that a lot of people have during this particular time. And it’s something that not a lot of people are talking about. So I really appreciate you even telling me that. And it’s Ok to not feel all the things right now because everything is so surreal and, and so abnormal. And you’re not yet going to the places maybe you went to with your friend. So if you are out there and you have lost someone and you feel bad for maybe not having had your big poo cry, which is what I will now forever refer to it as, then there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re just on pause. Grief on pause.
JOE LYCETT [00:23:47]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:23:47]
For a little bit.
JOE LYCETT [00:23:48]
Grief on pause.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:23:49]
JOE LYCETT [00:23:49]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:23:50]
What about love? Have you been doing any social distance shagging?
JOE LYCETT [00:23:55]
God, I wish, mate. No, I. It’s been a long, old time since someone has actually wiped me off. That’s all I’m after really.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:24:08]
JOE LYCETT [00:24:09]
I’m not even after, I’m not even after full pen, just like a nonchalant-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:24:14]
Did you just say “full pen”? As penetration?
JOE LYCETT [00:24:18]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:24:19]
JOE LYCETT [00:24:19]
Full pen, for short. No, just a nonchalant handjob would do to the world of good.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:24:26]
Right. Have you thought about doing the sort of stranger wank? You know, you sit on your hand for three minutes, then it goes numb and then you use that and then it feels.
JOE LYCETT [00:24:33]
Have I? Yes. But I don’t, I don’t have the dexterity for that.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:24:39]
I feel like-.
JOE LYCETT [00:24:40]
Because it’s not it, that doesn’t, there’s a few wanks that I don’t agree with. There’s that one. There was one that was described to me when I was at school, which is known as the “Danger wank”, are you familiar with this?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:24:50]
Yes, go on. But explain it to those who didn’t grow up around other-.
JOE LYCETT [00:24:55]
I don’t know but I remembered this the other day.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:24:57]
JOE LYCETT [00:24:59]
Basically, you shout, “Mom”, and then you start, you’re in your room. You’re in your room and you shout, “Mom”, and then you start wanking and you have to jizz before she comes up to your room. It’s the danger wank.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:25:17]
Aw, and you’ve got no one to do that with right now because you’ve been doing this solo-.
JOE LYCETT [00:25:21]
I got the cat. I could ask the cat. Winston! Yeah, could call the cat up. And also, I’ve got, I sleep in the attic. So he’s got two flights of stairs to get up, so-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:25:35]
Are you enjoying not being in a relationship right now during this pandemic?
JOE LYCETT [00:25:41]
I fucking love it. That’s, I really love, spending time on my own. I’m so fun on my own.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:25:48]
JOE LYCETT [00:25:48]
I’m a real-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:25:49]
You’re a riot.
JOE LYCETT [00:25:52]
I’m a real drunk guy. Yeah. That’s sort of the main thing that I’ve learned in lockdown is that I really don’t need the amount of human stimulus that I thought I did. I think like a bit of a chat with someone even just over text or over a day and I’m done. I don’t need, I don’t need to be seeing people, I don’t need to have a lunch with someone and then a dinner and then phone calls and meetings and all this. I don’t need it. What I love is quiet time with, with my. Because I find that every, every interaction I have with someone needs sort of percolating afterwards needs to be thought through and to really kind of get the most out of it. And a lot of what I was doing, pre lockdown, was having interactions of people and doing mad stuff, hosting TV shows and things that just are not sort of human and normal. And, and then having to sort of deal with those and work them all out in about 30 seconds and then get on to the next thing.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:26:51]
JOE LYCETT [00:26:51]
It’s no life. It’s no life.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:26:53]
No, I agree. Like I’ve had a big old wakeup call during this pandemic, during this lockdown of-.
JOE LYCETT [00:26:59]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:26:59]
Just I was working too hard. I was working so much. And it’s why I was making a lot of mistakes and being really fucking careless publicly and just I was in chaos for years. Because you’re just like going from one thing to the next thing to socializing to go back and then try to be a girlfriend. Try to be a good employee. Try to be a good boss, a colleague. It just it was so much.
JOE LYCETT [00:27:20]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:27:20]
I didn’t have a second to stop, to read, to learn, to chill, to figure, to reassess where I’m at. Like, if you think about how much we change year to year and, you know, before we’re I, I don’t know, in our 40s or 50s, it’s so dramatic. And so to not have any moment for respite, to sort of, re-, I don’t know, recuperate from that change means that you just end up making all these terrible mistakes. You can’t access your instincts as easily. And I think, I think it’s only part of why I’ve been a bit of a twat sometimes for the last couple of years. In other ways, I am just a twat and I’m just ignorant. But I do think that I’ve just recognized that I wasn’t looking after my health, my mental health. I had anxiety and I was missing my actual life, an actual life we start to associate with going out and climbing mountains and seeing millions of friends. But actually, sometimes life is just what happens to you. Like in the most solitary moments.
JOE LYCETT [00:28:16]
Yeah, it’s just having a sit down.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:28:16]
Yeah, truly. And so I call mine a sit and stare. Which I haven’t had time to do.
JOE LYCETT [00:28:20]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:28:21]
So coming out of this-.
JOE LYCETT [00:28:21]
Sit and stare.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:28:22]
JOE LYCETT [00:28:23]
Beautiful. Quentin Crisp, Quentin Crisp wrote a lot and spoke a lot about how he did not-, I’m obsessed with Quentin Crisp. So I’ve read his stuff loads, how he would just do nothing. And people find that really annoying. And they’d say, oh, surely you must do something. You must listen to the radio or something and he’d go, no. He’d say, I concede that occasionally I blink. He’ll say things like that. And he just used to love doing nothing. That was his favorite thing to do.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:28:50]
Well, coming out of this, obviously, everyone needs to work. Everyone needs to make money. But I definitely want to change how much obligation I feel to, to be sociable, to work, to do everything that comes along. You know, I think because.
JOE LYCETT [00:29:03]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:29:04]
You and I, you and I both kind of found success in a very kind of sudden moment. And so I think that when that happens and when you know that you’re so lucky to have found that moment of success, you then feel guilty about the idea of saying no to anything because you-.
JOE LYCETT [00:29:19]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:29:20]
Always feel oh, my moment’s going to run out and you had such a, like it was so fast. I mean, I feel like maybe it was 2013, the first time I ever saw you do stand up in that tiny little theater in London. And then within just a couple of years, you’re a household name. But I’ve seen your rise just, it was just so fast. And that must have just been a situation where A, you feel obligated to do everything. Go every, go everywhere. As a stand up, you’re in a different city every single day. Sometimes you’re on these ridiculous tours and then you’re also hosting TV shows and then being super sociable. What was it like for you becoming famous really fast?
JOE LYCETT [00:30:01]
Well, see, I would dispute that I don’t, I didn’t feel that it happened that fast, actually. I think lots came at once in the last few years in terms of telly gigs. But in terms of getting recognized, it did feel, because you do that thing when the first time you get on telly, I did “8 out of 10 cats”. Is that what it’s called? Yes it is.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:30:24]
Yes. It hasn’t been that long.
JOE LYCETT [00:30:26]
Yeah. Because there’s a spin off now, isn’t there? So that’s like a British panel show for, for your American listeners, and a very popular one at that. And I went on as a guest, maybe four or five years after starting standup. And it’s sort of thing that people that I went to school with and know, kind of clocked because not many people go on the show that you know, I suppose. But I was expecting to finish doing that show and step out into the street and just perhaps going off and, you know, being in all the papers and, you know, all of that sort of stuff and nobody gave a shit. And so then you real-, you start to realize it, it’s a, it’s an accumulation of work that starts to get you recognized. And then I’ve just gone through the whole cliché thing of like, and I genuinely never got into standup or I’ve not, never made decisions based on being famous. There’s, there’s, there’s a distinction in terms of growing your profile in order to do the things that you want to do. But I always just want to make things and want to have the-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:31:31]
JOE LYCETT [00:31:32]
Ability to, freedom to make the things I want to make. And when you’re doing some, like standup, obviously you want to show off to as many people as, not quite as many people as possible, because arenas are, is still slightly frightening to me. You know, you want to have a big audience. So you do want to get a bit famous in order to kind of get that audience. But I’ve gone through the cliched thing of getting a bit of fame and having a confusing relationship with it and not entirely liking it once I’ve achieved it and finding it sometimes a bit disruptive and sort of gets, for example, and this is, this is quite an extreme example. I was in the hospital with my friend. This was at six months or so ago. I went to the cafeteria to go and have a lunch and I sat down and was having this lunch. And this woman came over to say, oh, my God, I love the “Sewing Bee”. I love that show. And my friend loves it as well. And she’s in hospital. She’s just having spinal surgery, actually, that she’s just having it right now. Can you film a video for her to say that-? And I was like, yeah, fine. And then so she to started filming me and I was like, what’s her name? And she had a complicated name. And I got it wrong a couple of times and she’s, and she sort of like, no, no, it’s like this. And so then I’m like, oh sorry. And then, I hope you having fun. I’m glad you liked the show. So anyway, and then I thinking, why did you say, hope you having fun, you’re having fucking spinal surgery. Like and then so, you just have sort of a panic moment. And then like I’m dealing with like I don’t feel like a famous person at that point. I feel like a friend who’s in a hospital helping someone with their grief. And I just did this video and then I sat back and my other friend was with me and she was like, what the fuck was that? Like what? You just said, a load of weird things. I’d love to see that video because it is just me being fucking, hope you’re having fun! While your spine gets ripped out or whatever the fuck they’re doing to you.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:33:27]
If you’re out there and you took that video of Joe Lycett, please tweet it at me. @JameelaJamil. And I will post it with this episode.
JOE LYCETT [00:33:36]
Yeah. And the thing is, there’s no malice. That’s nothing but joy and love there, essentially, she’s, she’s worried about a friend. She thinks that this video will help her friend and who knows? It may well have done. It’s all, it’s all good. But I didn’t sign up for it at the same time. Do you know what I mean? It’s all, and it just comes at you, and you’re suddenly, like, oh, shit, yeah, I’m famous and you sort of forget. And, and parts of that I find difficult.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:34:03]
JOE LYCETT [00:34:03]
Sometimes. Most of the time, I love meeting people ’cause everyone’s so nice to me. I’m not, I’m not particularly controversial figure. So people aren’t going, oh, you wanker. Or whatever. I’m sure that will change, but-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:34:15]
After this podcast.
JOE LYCETT [00:34:17]
Once the bodies are found. But um, yeah. So I, I’ve gone through quite a sort of cliched thing of going like, oh this is exciting. Oh this is annoying now, isn’t it?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:34:30]
It’s quite funny. I, I remember last time I was in London, about a year and a half ago. I was having a blazing, very obvious row with my brother. Like the way the only siblings can fight. And we are screaming at each other in the middle of Soho, like fully just furious. Both of us red in the face, which is really hard for brown people to achieve. You have to be very, very red to be able to see that complexion on us. And a girl, just fully, and she had no bad intention, but she came up to me. She was like, this is my shot. I’m going to get a picture with her and came up to me in the middle of the argument and broke up the fight to ask me for a selfie and a video for her friends. And she just kept on saying, sorry, sorry, sorry, but just still kept on doing it and still kept on photographing and filming. And you’re just like, well, I guess that is part and parcel of this extreme privilege that we are afforded.
JOE LYCETT [00:35:25]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:35:25]
But it is really funny. Some of the moments that I have taken pictures of people are just unbelievable. Sometimes when I’m in hospital, I’ve taken pictures with the nurses like-.
JOE LYCETT [00:35:34]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:35:34]
It’s just, it’s just a, it’s a funny old thing. Does it make it hard to date?
JOE LYCETT [00:35:40]
Well, yeah, if I was dating. I am really, I mean, I so, I’ve, I’ve occasionally. This is what happens to me. I get horny about three times a year. When the moon is at it’s-. No. Just like I get horny about three times a year. It’s normally when I’ve just finished a big job and like the finish, not a handjob. I’ve just finished like a big work thing and I think, oh like, it would be nice to have a cuddle. And I, I’ve realized I’m like a cat. Having Winston, who I’ve only looked after during lockdown, he’s my friend’s cat who I’ve basically adopted. And I never had a cat, looked after a cat before. And I really like him. And I think it’s because he has similar temperament to me, which is he loves like a cuddle and whatever, and then suddenly goes, Oh, I feel vulnerable. And you can’t predict when it’s gonna happen. And then he’s just not interested in you at all. Then he just fucks off. And then he’ll come back for a little bit and then, but there’s no consistency with it unless it’s around food. And I’m like that. I, I want a cuddle and by cuddle, I mean full pen. And then once the cuddles done.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:36:48]
JOE LYCETT [00:36:48]
And I’ve had a bit of a kind of actual cuddle afterwards, I do, I sort of just want to get on with my life then. And so-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:36:55]
For the rest of the season.
JOE LYCETT [00:36:58]
For the rest of the season until the moon reaches its, its peak again or wherever it is. So, and I think it’s slightly a product of the amount of work but also just, I think that’s just sort of slightly my temperament and that’s not great for, most people are not looking for someone who’s like that.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:37:17]
No, no, that’s not ideal. That’s not a very giving relationship or it would take a very long time to have a sustainable relationship with you.
JOE LYCETT [00:37:25]
Yeah, it would.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:37:25]
Because the dates so far and few between.
JOE LYCETT [00:37:28]
Yeah. Well, that’s it. So I just haven’t. So, you know, I had to, I had little bits of kind of interest or whatever. And people tell me that I’ll just find someone and I’ll, whatever. And I’m open to that. I’m totally open to the whole thing. But what I’ve realized is for a long time, I was dating people because I felt like I should be dating people. And then actually all you end up doing is kind of wasting their time because you get to a certain place, and I just go, actually, I’m not going to be able to see you that much because I’m working or whatever, and I don’t, for whatever reason, don’t put the effort in. And so I just don’t feel like what, I don’t want to piss anyone off and I don’t want to waste anyone’s time.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:38:05]
Can I ask you about your sexuality, Joe Lycett?
JOE LYCETT [00:38:10]
Yeah. Go on then.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:38:11]
You have spoken publicly about being pansexual, which is something that not a lot of people will say. I sort of alluded to my own pansexuality and was met with extreme mockery. What? How did it go for you?
JOE LYCETT [00:38:27]
Fine. And then I had a horrible week when a Lib Dem MP came out as pansexual and I didn’t say anything for most of the time, but everyone had to go, I can’t remember what her name is, ever, I mean just felt like this wall. I think pansexual was trending on Twitter and there’s this wall of people being like, this is another fucking nonsense thing. And everyone just sort of jumping on that and seeing it again as like a kind of woke thing.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:39:00]
JOE LYCETT [00:39:01]
A bandwagon and all that. And in some ways, I sort of don’t disagree with them because, like, I have jumped on the bandwagon because I’ve heard a word that I felt defined me better than any othor. And so without hearing that definition, I didn’t invent the term pansexual. Without hearing that or somebody creating a wagon, a bandwagon, I wouldn’t have got on the bandwagon.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:39:26]
Right. But I think there’s a difference between saying someone’s learned a new term that they find they identify with vs. someone said, oh, that would make me sound trendy. And they don’t actually identify with that sexuality, but they say they do in order to be allowed in some sort of magical fun club, which they consider LGBTQ+, IA+, hugely marginalized group to be.
JOE LYCETT [00:39:47]
But, but what I will say. Yeah. What I will say and this you know, I’m saying it to you cause you’re not a Times reporter, is even though I agree with everything that you just said. I do still feel like being pansexual is cool. Like I feel really cool being pansexual. I’m glad I am. I feel like it’s a part of me that I’m proud of. That’s like, I’m the flavor of the moment. I’m not being stoned to death. Cool. Like I feel, I feel at this point in time, I’m glad that I’m pansexual right now rather than.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:40:18]
JOE LYCETT [00:40:19]
Even 10 years or whatever.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:40:20]
JOE LYCETT [00:40:20]
Because it’s so-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:40:23]
Would you explain? Sort of-.
JOE LYCETT [00:40:25]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:40:25]
Yes. OK. So explain. Because the whole time that we did know each other and before you had defined yourself as bisexual.
JOE LYCETT [00:40:33]
Yes. Which I still do. I still, so basically I, I’m bisexual. So I am attracted to both men and women. The problem with that word, and it’s not a huge problem, I don’t really give a shit. But it’s an intellectual. The reason I use pansexual is it’s an intellectual way of describing how I feel about my sexuality. You can define your sexuality in all sorts of beautiful, sort of remarkable ways. You could be attracted to young people, older people. You might like a daddy, kind of, an otter sort of figure or, you know, there’s all sorts of different-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:41:16]
JOE LYCETT [00:41:17]
Yeah. You know what an otter is?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:41:17]
JOE LYCETT [00:41:18]
It’s like a sort of younger, sort of a young bear, basically.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:41:24]
Young, hairy. Young, hairy, chubby sort of-.
JOE LYCETT [00:41:28]
Well, less chubby, really. More sort of otter-y..
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:41:37]
JOE LYCETT [00:41:37]
With little paws. So there’s all sorts of different things. And gender is one of them. And I can’t deny that certain times I’m more attracted to certain genders than others. But often it’s just to do with the individual and not, sometimes it’s not even that. It’s just like you just feel a bit sort of sexy in that moment and it doesn’t really matter who it is. As some, you know, you get the look of someone and you think, well, that’ll do. And you just get kind of, you feel like sexy. My friend came up with this theory about, do you think you could have a wank over a really good wank? So rather than, like, thinking about some, having sex with somebody or whatever, an individual, you just have a, you think back to a really good wank that you had and think, well, that was such a good wank that I could wank about that wank. Does that make sense to you in any way?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:42:25]
Yeah, I’m interested. Yeah.
JOE LYCETT [00:42:27]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:42:28]
JOE LYCETT [00:42:29]
So I’ve kind of gone off on a tangent there, but basically there’s no there’s no gender there. There’s no individual, there’s no, the sexuality is just sexuality. You just, you just having a wank and. You just having a wank, mate. And so I, sometimes, I’m just having a wank and it doesn’t matter if it’s male, female, whatever it is, you’re just a sexual being. And so pan obviously means all. And so it just it’s a kind of catchall term for basically saying I’m open to anything and, and often my sexual attraction and the things that sort of get me going a little bit are unpredictable. And they’re not, and they’re not entirely, they are somewhat controlled by gender, but not ent-, nowhere near entirely, like that’s one element. And often it’s like the shape of an arm or the, you know, the way someone looks at you or if you’ve had a bit too much to drink, and you just start feeling a bit nimble. It’s all of those things.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:43:29]
Yeah. For me, I, I fall in love with people and I am attracted to people based predominantly on personality. So that’s why.
JOE LYCETT [00:43:37]
Yeah, so you’re personality sexual.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:43:39]
Yeah. Truly. Like I have-.
JOE LYCETT [00:43:40]
Or like nice, nice personality sexual.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:43:43]
JOE LYCETT [00:43:43]
Unless you’re like-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:43:43]
No, I like a funny person. Yeah.
JOE LYCETT [00:43:43]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:43:46]
Yeah, I’m funny sexual. We’ll see how that goes down in the fucking next Times interview that I do.
JOE LYCETT [00:43:50]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:43:57]
I think that’s what it is, is that I fall in love with people and I’m attracted to people. And I don’t have a type. Every single person I’ve ever dated looks completely different from the other. And they are completely different. It’s just if they make me laugh or not. So that could be a man or a woman or a gender nonconforming person. But I think it’s really good to have that, to have someone speak about it in a way that just doesn’t make it sound like a trend or a phase. You’re just, you just love who you love, you fancy who you fancy. And I don’t think that that should be something that’s terribly dramatic.
JOE LYCETT [00:44:27]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:44:27]
The fact that it’s still met with such ridicule. I mean, I understand it’s not unpredictable that pansexuality would still be something that is so mocked, when we still haven’t really come to terms with bisexuality, like biphobia is still very real.
JOE LYCETT [00:44:40]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:44:40]
And I’m sure that you must have dealt with that all the time with people being like, are you gay or are you straight? I’m in a, you know, a hetero relationship with a man right now. So therefore, people have said that therefore I cannot possibly be bisexual or anything other than completely straight because I’ve chosen to have specific life partner. I’ve fallen in love with the person, not the gender.
JOE LYCETT [00:45:01]
Yeah. The, people are so curious, aren’t they, the way they sort of suddenly decide that they know what you are better than you do. The bi thing I’ve noticed most of the biphobia I’ve had is from the gay community and often sort of older gay man. I wrote a blog about this years ago because Christopher Biggins said something about, um, how bisexual men ruin women’s lives, is what he said, because basically we were kind of on the road to being gay. We haven’t worked that out yet. And so we, funny about with women and they get attached and then we ruin their lives because then we go, oh, sorry, we’re gay, actually. And I can sort of understand from that generation why you would say that, because people, you know, died in order for us to have the right to sort of sleep with whoever we want to. You know, as long as everyone’s consenting. And naturally, you create communities and little spaces for yourself that are safe, like they’re all the gay, I love the gay scene in Birmingham particularly, and that’s a safe space for those people. And if suddenly there’s people like me coming and going, well, I’m a bit you, but I’m a bit over there as well. I can see why you’re a bit like, well, hang on, what are you? Because are you trying to attack me or not? Are you a threat? So I do get that. I understand why that’s happened to some degree. But you would hope that, you know, it doesn’t take long for you to go. No, I’m I’m entirely with you. I’m just also going to go smash some fucking puss.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:46:45]
Not right now, because that’s the other thing is that people think that bisexual people are naturally more promiscuous.
JOE LYCETT [00:46:54]
Sorry, I’m just, I’m just enjoying-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:46:56]
Smashing some puss.
JOE LYCETT [00:46:57]
How much I got, how I got or how much I got away with saying “smashing some puss”. Yeah.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:47:06]
As long as it, look. As long as that puss is consenting to the smashing. Then I’m fine with it.
JOE LYCETT [00:47:10]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:47:11]
JOE LYCETT [00:47:11]
I sort of, I’ve shocked myself with that, you know what I mean?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:47:15]
JOE LYCETT [00:47:15]
I’ve sort of gone, oh gosh. How unbecoming.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:47:18]
Well, it’s been it’s been four and a half months since you’ve seen some puss. So I’m not surprised that, you know?
JOE LYCETT [00:47:22]
It’s been a lot longer than that. Jesus, when was the last time I saw a puss? God.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:47:28]
Other than Winston.
JOE LYCETT [00:47:30]
Other than good old Winston?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:47:31]
Well, no. But what I was saying is that, you know, bisexual people are also considered to be more promiscuous. So therefore, I can’t imagine what they think about pansexual people because you assume you’re like, well, you, if you are, if you’re always attracted to perhaps the other gender, then, if you are also attracted to the other gender, then therefore, you can never be fully faithful to someone who is just one of those binaries.
JOE LYCETT [00:47:54]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:47:54]
Because you’re-, like. That’s not a thing. That’s the same as being unfaithful if you’re a straight person in a relationship.
JOE LYCETT [00:48:02]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:48:03]
There are billions of people on this planet who you could be attracted to or want to have sex with or want to cheat with. And you don’t. You’re either a cheater or you’re not. Your sexuality does not make you more or less promiscuous. Just changes who you’re attracted to, or who you can fall in love with.
JOE LYCETT [00:48:18]
Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s quite a lazy thing there, isn’t it? And also, the kind of accusation that you’re more promiscuous, promiscuous is, is unfounded, at least in my experience, because I only have three opportunities a year to be promiscuous with my, with my horniness. But also, if you are really promiscuous. Nothing wrong with that.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:48:40]
JOE LYCETT [00:48:40]
As long as you’re being safe. Like just fuck whoever you want as long as everyone’s up for it. Shag all day. That’s lovely. It’s nice to have a little shag.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:48:49]
I agree. I have more, but I have more promiscuous straight friends than I do bi or pan. Or gay friends even. Well, I’m glad that we’ve had this chat. I think-.
JOE LYCETT [00:48:58]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:48:59]
I think that’s important. I think that no one should ever feel like you are just trying on a costume. If you say that you are pansexual, if you identify as whatever sexuality. It’s all fine. Love and sex is good. And fighting and being mean is bad. So you should feel no shame around just loving who you love.
JOE LYCETT [00:49:17]
That’s nice. Fighting and being mean is bad. I’mma get that on a t-shirt.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:49:22]
Yeah. OK, so another thing I want to talk to you about, ever so briefly because I don’t want to take up loads of your time. ‘Cause I know you like to be alone.
JOE LYCETT [00:49:27]
I’m having, I’m having a lovely time.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:49:31]
This is a podcast where we touch upon things like sexuality. We touch upon shame, we touch upon mental health, but we also talk about activism. And you are someone who I’m not sure everyone recognizes as an activist, even though I fully, fully deem you as one. You are just the most lols activist on the planet. You have decided to take it upon yourself to be the knight in shining armor to people and their complaints. Will you please explain your new role in society over the last couple of years?
JOE LYCETT [00:50:07]
So in and as quickly as I can describe it. In my stand up, I discover quite early on that I could, I found this little niche. And it’s not a niche, particularly that I’ve discovered. I’m not the only person that has done it, loads of other comics have done similar things, but essentially writing correspondents emails and letters, whatever, to a generally bureaucratic institutions, local councils and big companies and whatever, and just basic piss about with them. It’s-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:50:36]
You like to write a complaint letter.
JOE LYCETT [00:50:39]
I love writing a complaint letter and I get myself real, really riled up and then I can really go for it. But I had a bit about, a bit about getting a parking fine and I responded to it and it got, it was so funny and everyone thought I was upset. Amazing. And it did very well and went viral. And I’m a viral superstar.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:50:57]
JOE LYCETT [00:50:58]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:50:58]
Anyone out there, so I don’t have to make Joe do this again, please go and look up Joe Lycett parking fine. And it’s truly one of the funniest five minutes of your life. But go on.
JOE LYCETT [00:51:10]
So as my profile started to rise, then TV companies are interested in making a TV show with me and they were asking me what I sorted want to do and whatever. And with the guidance of a few different wonderful people who I’ve now ended up making a show with, I’ve done two series now of a show called “Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back”. And it’s sort of like, there’s an old British format called “That’s Life”, which is where, it was hosted by Esther Rantzen. And it would be basically taking on complaints from people and sort of saying, we, you know, there’s a new program called “Watchdog”, which is a similar thing. So it’s consumer issues. So my boiler’s gone and the companies ignoring me. What are you going to do about it? And then the TV company comes in and helps. But because I’m a comedian, I do it as comedically as possible. So we take on these these big stories and we try and tackle them in a funny way. And we do that, one, because I’m a comedian, but also because it’s one thing that I think activism at its best does really well. When you say a really funny placard at a protest, that can be very, very powerful. And humor can really, a lot of companies, well, individuals and companies are terrified. They don’t really mind being exposed to doing wrong doing, as they kind of can just about get away with it. But PR companies really go into kind of overdrive when they feel that the companies they’re representing are being made to look silly because that can be so damaging to a brand. The big example this year that I did was on, the last series we did, we took on a story about, at a small brewery in Wales called Boss Brewing, who had been sent what’s known as a cease and desist letter, which is a legal letter telling the company to stop using the word “boss” because, and it had come from the company Hugo Boss, because they deemed this little brewery in Swansea to be ruining their billion dollar business. And so we looked into it and realized that Hugo Boss had done this to quite a few small companies. And so I decided to tackle this particular issue by realizing that Hugo Boss hates their name being used. And so changing my name by deed poll to Hugo Boss, which I did for a few months and caused somewhat of a storm.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:53:37]
It was so-.
JOE LYCETT [00:53:38]
And Hugo Boss.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:53:39]
It was so funny. I can’t believe you officially, legally changed your name to Hugo Boss. And then you changed all your social media handles and only referred to yourself as Hugo Boss. You changed all your mail. Everything.
JOE LYCETT [00:53:52]
Everything. And the only thing that I couldn’t get done was the passport and the driving license because I changed my signature to, it was Hugo Boss will look like a cock and balls. And apparently that’s not allowed on those things. So I’ve got a wonderful, I need to get it framed actually, the letter from the DVLA that says that you can’t have an obscenity as your signature is muah. But yeah, to all intents and purposes, I was Hugo Boss and I, it was so thrilling, those few days, when it first announced it and it went like, it went around the world. It was on CNN and it was on like India News. I was getting requests to do news all over the world. And I think because it’s just such a simple idea, but kind of made the point well, I think. And it’s funny as well. It’s such a stupid thing to do.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:54:41]
You’re also telling truth to power. You’re making them look really stupid for being this giant, decades and decades, decades existing, long and reigning, you know, multi, just huge corporation.
JOE LYCETT [00:54:53]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:54:53]
Who are bullying this tiny little new brewery over the years of a word that it’s just in our language. It’s not a new original word.
JOE LYCETT [00:55:02]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:55:02]
How did they respond? Did they like it?
JOE LYCETT [00:55:04]
No, they did not. We heard from their lawyers, didn’t we? They gave, in the end, they put out a statement saying, like they welcomed me to the family and the Hugo Boss family. I will not be going to Christmas this year. I can tell you that for a fact. And that they had constructive talks with the brewery, which the brewery, I imagine, disputes because the brewery were out of pocket by tens of thousands of pounds. And so, yeah, they, I definitely pissed them off for a while. And the brewery have had so much interest in whatever as a result, you know. I’m not sure exactly, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve made back the money that they lost in legal fees through the added sales. I would hope so.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:55:46]
I love it.
JOE LYCETT [00:55:47]
Because. So that was good fun. My activism, I suppose, then, is I’m always looking for how to keep those companies in check and go, well, hang on, you’ve got to keep doing that. You’ve got to keep, you go keep making the right decisions regardless.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:56:01]
JOE LYCETT [00:56:01]
Because this, this company that, the one that I find so skin-crawlingly infuriating is British Airways, who actively sponsor Brighton Pride and they have a big bus every year. I think Kylie’s played on it once, whatever. So. And they changed their logo to the gay flag, well done them. And you know, they really go for it and show that, show off that they’re all super Pride positive and whatever. And then they also take, I think they still take contracts from the Home Office to deport people, LGBT people, to countries where it is illegal and dangerous for them to be there. So on the one hand, they’re like, oh, yeah, we really support queer-, you know, LGBT rights. And then on the other hand, they’re literally taking them back to countries that don’t support them. And it’s like, well, and you just sort of don’t care, do you? You’re just, you’re just a company that are just making money and you’re just trying to find a way of doing it. Banks do it all the time. And so that’s where my activism comes in, is like it’s, obviously on my program, we do it in a smaller way. But essentially it’s, it comes from a distrust of the motivations of companies and the way that they treat people and often treat them with such, and not even employees, not even the customers, the employees, they treat them with such lack of dignity a lot of the time, because, of course, they don’t a company doesn’t care if you live or die as long as they keep making money.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:57:29]
Yeah, well, I think it’s a good. This year has been a good lesson for us to see how many people have been so performative. And then as soon as they do it, they get called out by their employees about horrendous mistreatment. We’ve seen so many people have stepped down from companies. I think what it says to us is that it’s wonderful that change is coming and that is down to us as the people for having made so much noise that we now actually have the power. It’s also just very important that people recognize that we have all the power. We vote with the dollar and the pound.
JOE LYCETT [00:57:57]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:57:57]
We are the ones who get to decide who are the big corporations. We get to decide who are the big superstars and the influences, etc. They don’t control us. We control them. We are the puppet masters. It’s just been misconstrued all these years where we thought it was the other way around. So when you are, when you are seeing all these companies engage in all of these things, unfollow, block, mute, delete and do not give them your money, start to give your money to the companies that are actually doing the right thing because you can build them up to be the next super corporation. You have all the power.
JOE LYCETT [00:58:28]
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:58:28]
Joe, thank you-.
JOE LYCETT [00:58:29]
And that’s happening so much, isn’t it?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:58:30]
JOE LYCETT [00:58:32]
We could talk about this-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:58:33]
JOE LYCETT [00:58:34]
Until the cows come home.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:58:36]
Joe, thanks for coming on and talking to me about all of this stuff today. I’m going to need to get, I’m going to need to get you back on at some point. ‘Cause there’s just so much more to say. But before you go, would you tell me? Joe Lycett, what do you weigh?
JOE LYCETT [00:58:53]
I was dreading this question because I don’t really know. I think I weigh essentially at core a desire to make the right decisions, to do the right thing, essentially, make the right decisions. Be kind, but also not take anything, anything and like, literally everything, too seriously. It’s all a nonsense. It’s all ripe for being picked apart and made silly and it’s all a laugh.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:59:27]
Well, thank you very much. Thank you so much for listening to this week’s “I Weigh”. I would also like to thank the team, which helps me make this podcast. My producers, Sophia Jennings and Kimie Lucas. My editor, Andrew Carson. My boyfriend, James Blake, who made the beautiful music you are hearing now. And me, for my work. At “I Weigh”, we would love to hear from you and share what you weigh at the end of this podcast. You can leave us a voicemail at 1-818-660-5543. Or e-mail us what you weigh at [email protected]. And remember, it’s not in pounds and kilos, it’s your social contributions to society or just how you define yourself in life. And now we would love to pass the mic to one of our listeners.
I WEIGH COMMUNITY MEMBER [01:00:09]
I weigh LGBTQ rights. I weigh animals’ rights. I weigh human rights. I weigh women’s rights.