Joe Lycett has revealed his walk-out on Steph’s Packed Lunch was a stunt aimed at raising awareness of single-use plastics.
The comedian, 32, made a sudden exit from the Channel 4 talk show on Thursday after its host, Steph McGovern, pointed out a photo of him using a plastic bottle after he claimed he had given up using them.
Lycett said “I didn’t realise I was on Newsnight” before taking off his microphone and departing the studio seemingly in anger.
However, on Friday he appeared on the show again to reveal the walk-out had been an attempt to stop companies from using coloured PET plastics.
Lycett, who has hosted a number of stunts as part of his consumer TV show, joked that both he and McGovern deserved Oscars for their performances.
He said: “Soz, it wasn’t real.
“Most of your production team didn’t know about this.
“We had to keep it as quiet as possible.
“But it was a stunt for a very good cause, I feel.
“Earlier on the show yesterday, I talked about white PET plastic and coloured PET plastic, and was saying that my show was looking into whether this was potentially a lot harder to recycle than clear PET plastic.
“And if that was the case then maybe companies shouldn’t be using these plastics.
“I decided that I wanted as many people to know about this story as possible – and how do you get press interest?
“Well, we have seen Piers Morgan, we have seen Patsy Palmer, you storm off a chat show.
“And so that is what we went for yesterday.
“And I think you and I deserve an Oscar for the performances we gave yesterday.”
Lycett said they achieved a “clean” sweep and secured coverage in all the tabloid newspapers while Twitter “went mental”.
McGovern said Lycett had messaged her late yesterday evening to say, “It feels like I am watching my funeral”.
Shortly before appearing on Packed Lunch for a second time, Lycett shared a statement on Instagram in which he addressed his on air “tantrum”.
He said: “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.
“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.
“Today I seeded pictures of me drinking from one of these bottles which Greg James agreed to retweet.
“The tabloids loved it – Mummy’s all over the press!
“The bottle in question? Yop.
“I risked my reputation as a jolly, affable and very-much-available chat show guest to say this as loud as I can: Yop, it’s time to stop using white PET plastic. What you sayin’ Yop?”
In March last year, Lycett legally changed his name to that of German luxury designer Hugo Boss after the brand used trademark claims to target small businesses and charities who use “boss” in their branding.
He later changed his name back.