Joe Lycett is slammed for mixing sport and politics at Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

Joe Lycett is slammed for mixing sport and politics at Commonwealth Games opening ceremony after saying: ‘I’m going to do something now that the British Government doesn’t always do, and welcome some foreigners!’

  • The Birmingham-born comedian angered viewers with his comments last night
  • He aimed a jibe at the Government over its controversial immigration policies
  • People on social media were not impressed, calling it ‘dumb virtue signalling’ 

Joe Lycett has been slammed for mixing sport and politics during his performance in the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

The Birmingham-born comedian was introducing a group of Asian athletes to the crowd inside the Alexander Stadium last night he took aim at the Tory government. 

Dressed a in a pink tracksuit, he joked: ‘I’m going to do something now that the British Government doesn’t always do, and welcome some foreigners!’

The comment spark fury from some people online, who hit out at him for using the sporting event to make a political point.

Joe Lycett took a jab at the government during last night's Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, saying: 'I'm going to do something now that the British Government doesn't always do, and welcome some foreigners'

Joe Lycett took a jab at the government during last night’s Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, saying: ‘I’m going to do something now that the British Government doesn’t always do, and welcome some foreigners’

Comedian Joe Lycett left some viewers furious after criticising the government during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Here he can be seen dressed in a frilly pink tracksuit during the event last night

Comedian Joe Lycett left some viewers furious after criticising the government during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Here he can be seen dressed in a frilly pink tracksuit during the event last night

One person said: ‘Sad that sporting events are now becoming so heavily politicised. Just. Do. Sport.’

Another added: ‘To be honest I think this was poor show. To say at the event in front of other countries, when the UK actually does welcome “foreigners” is not helpful. He was lucky to get the gig. He shouldn’t then use it to push his own personal politics.’

One commenter said: ‘Yeah it was fire, a dumpster fire. Not necessary for a sporting event and just dumb virtue signalling. There’s a time and place and that wasn’t it.’

Another wrote: ‘You having a laugh, the British government does more for foreigners than people born and bred, here wake up man.’ 

After his comment provoked fury among some viewers, the comedian then took to Twitter to aim a jibe at Home Secretary Priti Patel

After his comment provoked fury among some viewers, the comedian then took to Twitter to aim a jibe at Home Secretary Priti Patel

After show had concluded Lycett took to Twitter, where he posted a jibe at the Home Secretary Priti Patel, saying: ‘soz @pritipatel just a bit of banter tehehe.’

The joke and follow-up comment were aimed at the Government as it attempts to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda. 

The controversial Rwanda scheme, which has so far failed to get off the ground after a raft of legal challenges from human rights campaigners and lawyers for asylum seekers, was announced earlier this year.

It was recently revealed that the east African nation has told the government it can only take 200 asylum seekers, despite being paid £120million to process them.

While people have criticised Lycett for his comments, there has been praise for the rest of the opening ceremony, which saw athletes from 72 different nations and territories paraded around the stadium.

Segments featuring a parade of cars, firework displays and even a giant mechanical bull wowed the crowd in the stadium and those watching on TV at home.

The Prince of Wales stood in for the Queen to officially open the games, giving a touching speech in her stead where he praised Her Majesty’s ‘passion and commitment’ to the Commonwealth. 

The 96-year-old monarch had backed out amid ongoing mobility issues, but is sure to have been watching the spectacular opening from he summer retreat at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

The Prince of Wales and the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation Dame Louise Martin during the opening ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham yesterday

The Prince of Wales and the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation Dame Louise Martin during the opening ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham yesterday

In the ring: The 50ft mechanical bull parades around the main stadium in a display that wowed many

In the ring: The 50ft mechanical bull parades around the main stadium in a display that wowed many

Social media boomed with comments from those at the stadium and at home with some praising the creativity of the curtain-raising event, and others mocking the exuberance on display. 

Many were left amazed by a 50ft mechanical bull, a recreation of the famous statue that welcomes shoppers to the Bull Ring shopping centre in Birmingham.

Others were impressed with the parade of cars which featured classic and modern vehicles built in the West Midlands – with the likes of Aston Martins, Land Rovers and McLarens going on display – although some took it as a tongue-in-cheek jab at Birmingham’s notorious congestion. 

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