How would I de­scribe my show? ... A sexy Watch­dog

Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back sees the Brum­mie co­me­dian, 30, take on the pub­lic’s con­sumer com­plaints. He tells GE­OR­GIA HUMPHREYS all about it

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What can we ex­pect from Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back?

I’M de­scrib­ing it as a “sexy Watch­dog”. It’s a con­sumer show with a dif­fer­ence, and the dif­fer­ence is that it’s, hope­fully, funny. The idea of it be­ing funny isn’t just us be­ing friv­o­lous and that we’re just try­ing to do some­thing light and airy – which we are try­ing to do, we’re try­ing to make an en­ter­tain­ing pro­gramme – but ac­tu­ally com­edy, in my ex­pe­ri­ence, can be a very ef­fec­tive weapon.

Why are you the right per­son to present this show?

I DON’T com­ment on pol­i­tics too much, mainly be­cause I’m not an ex­pert by any means, and I change my opin­ion of things all the time. But I know when I feel cross about a com­pany or when I feel cross that some­one’s been wronged, and those in­jus­tices make me sad. That’s where so much of my com­edy has come from in the past, when peo­ple have been job­sworths or they’ve scammed peo­ple.

You have some pro­fes­sion­als help­ing you out too...

I’VE sent some snarky emails but I’ve got no knowl­edge of the law. The pro­duc­tion com­pany Rum­pus said we should get a proper con­sumer team on this.

It means that we are so well re­searched and so legally wa­ter­tight that we know ex­actly where they’re go­ing wrong. But they also know what we can do in terms of be­ing silly and tak­ing the mick, as well.

You have real case stud­ies come on the show. Can you give an ex­am­ple?

WE had some ap­palling sit­u­a­tions where peo­ple have lost thou­sands; we had a girl on who had her life sav­ings taken from her by fraud­sters.

We play a clip of her find­ing out all that money has gone, and it’s har­row­ing to lis­ten to. With that par­tic­u­lar case we re­ally went for them, and re­ally tried our best to get that money back for her.

Was it a chal­lenge get­ting the tone of the show right?

AB­SO­LUTELY. It is a fine line to jug­gle and I hope we’ve done it sen­si­tively. But all of our con­trib­u­tors have con­tacted our show know­ing that it’s me, know­ing that it’s a com­edy show.

They’ve gone through of­fi­cial chan­nels, they’ve com­plained to the com­pany, they’ve gone to om­buds­men and they’ve not got any­where. So, in some ways, we’re their last re­sort – and some­times the last re­sort has worked.

What’s your big­gest pet peeve about cus­tomer ser­vice?

OH my god, where to start! I think it’s when you get that real sense of ‘they’re not lis­ten­ing to you’, so you’re ex­plain­ing that there’s some­thing wrong with what they’ve done or with the prod­uct that they’ve sold you, and they stick to their script and dig their heels in. That is in­fu­ri­at­ing.

How nerve-wrack­ing is it lead­ing this show?

WE are mak­ing a new show with a new for­mat. And it’s quite com­pli­cated to straddle the line be­tween tak­ing things se­ri­ously, and then the silli­ness to­wards the end of the sto­ries.

But I’ve had noth­ing else on while we’ve made this show, and when we’re not film­ing episodes, I’ve been in the of­fice every day, mak­ing sure that we are get­ting it right.

What’s next for you?

GO­ING on tour in Aus­tralia and New Zealand, then a Ra­dio 4 pro­gramme that I’m work­ing on. And, a bit of time off. I’ve got loads of stag dos this year... Eurgh, I don’t do well on stag dos!

■ Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back is on Chan­nel 4 on Fri­day at 8.30pm

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