2019 was quite the rollercoaster year for sewing fans – first that The Great British Sewing Bee was coming back to UK TV schedules (finally), then the blow that presenter Claudia Winkleman wouldn’t be returning to present series 5 (sob!). In stepped Joe Lycett – stand-up comic, consumer champion and Twitter over-sharer. So how did he get on?
As the weeks progressed, the pressure wasn’t only on the competitors. Lycett had the added responsibility of presenting his mum’s favourite show. “She was excited, but soon after was worried I was going to ruin it,” he laughs. She offered a few tips for hosting, including “don’t do too many innuendos”, but overall she’s happy with the result, he says. “It’s a lovely, gentle cuddly show… it was something I could have fun with. And I did, it was a laugh,” Joe tells us.
Fellow presenter and friend, Bake-Off’s Noel Fielding, offered some helpful advice. “He said to just become friends with the contestants and be yourself, really.”
Sadly, it didn’t make delivering the results any easier – sending people home each week was the hardest part. “I hated that bit, absolutely hated it,” he admits. “I didn’t want to do it.”
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3 reasons to love Joe Lycett on the Bee
From his flamboyant outfits (and fabulous nail varnish choices) to his brand of gentle wit, Lycett tackled last Spring’s Spring’s series of the Bee like the pro he is. At times his lack of sewing experience even worked in his favour as he looked on, bemused, at the dressmaking wizardry happening on the contestants’ sewing machines and lightened the atmosphere with quips and sidenotes.
In a way his lack of seamstress skill mirrored the viewers’ – few of who would be comfortable grappling with stretch lycra or refashioning a coat for a dog.
He may not match Claudia in the shiny fringe and perfect smoky eye stakes but he’s more than made up for in his drama-filled outfits and one-liners. Here are three reasons we reckon he’s perfect for The Great British Sewing Bee.
He’s a snappy dresser
A quick scroll through Joe’s Instagram leaves us in no doubt of his passion for, shall we say, unique fashion. Fur coats, jazzy shirts and gold lamé are just a few of his sartorial highlights, so out-there GBSB creations like skanklets and elephant costumes doesn’t phase him one bit. Plus, anyone dedicated enough to match their shirt to their wallpaper is sure to appreciate The Sewing Bee’s amazing haberdashery, right?
We’re expecting good things from Joe’s flamboyant wardrobe in the 2020 series.
Who is Joe Lycett?
He’s a popular UK comedian. Before he stepped up to host the Great British Sewing Bee he has hosted Live At the Apollo and starring in shows such as 8 of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Would I Lie to You? and Roast Battle. In fact he’s so popular he’s won awards and sold out three sell out UK and Ireland tours. So we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings to the Bee!
He’s a pro at puns
With previous stand-up show titles as Some Lycett Hot and That’s The Way, A-ha, A-ha, Joe Lycett, it’s clear that Joe has some serious punning skills, so we can’t wait to see what sewing-related wordplay he comes up with this series.
In fact, he was showing off his punning prowess as soon as he first released a statement announcing his new role: “My mum loves this show and she’s bursting at the seams she’s sew excited! Weave talked about it and she says I’m tailor made and I’ll have the contestants in stitches.” Let’s just hope he hasn’t used up all his best sewing puns before the show even starts…
He’s got sewing skills (well, sort of)
We all had to begin our sewing journey somewhere, and in Joe’s case it was with this rather fetching, erm, pair of trousers, sewn together with an actually-not-too-bad running stitch.
Even Patrick Grant was impressed, calling his creation “a thing of wonder” – we have a feeling he might not be quite so forgiving when it comes to judging the new contestant’s efforts, though.