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
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