A comedian who once declared himself as a candidate to be South Shields MP today pulled off a stunt at a press conference by Fifa president Sepp Blatter.
Prankster Simon Brodkin, who also stormed the Glastonbury stage during Kanye West’s recent headlining set, made his unscheduled appearance during Blatter’s press conference - throwing money at him.
Before Mr Blatter began speaking at the conference in Zurich, the comedian - in his character of Jason Bent - barged in front of the 79-year-old and laid down a wad of cash.
Mr Blatter could be heard calling for his security, before Brodkin was lead away.
On his way out, Brodkin - stage name Lee Nelson - threw another bundle of notes at Mr Blatter, saying: “Here you go Sepp.”
Mr Blatter was heard saying that the stunt “was not about football” before stepping out of the room for a short time.
Shortly after the stunt, Brodkin tweeted a photo of himself gatecrashing the event from the account @Jason9Bent, with the message: “Excited to be at FIFA meeting Sepp Blatter to secure the #NorthKorea2026 World Cup.”
But the comedian is not new to showing up to events uninvited.
During rapper West’s headline set on Glastonbury Saturday, Brodkin appeared on stage as Nelson wearing a T-shirt with ‘Lee-Zus’ on it before being removed by security.
This was again followed by him posting a photo on his Twitter account, accompanied by the message: “Some people were saying Kanye shouldn’t headline Glastonbury so I thought I’d give him a hand.”
In June last year he tried to board the England football team’s jet as they set off for the Brazil World Cup.
Again adopting the character of Bent, he mingled with the players after they got off the team bus before boarding their plane to Miami at Luton Airport.
On that occasion he tweeted: “Gutted Roy wouldn’t let me on the plane to Brazil. I don’t know what to tell the Malaysian betting syndicate now...”
The year before, he was given a conditional caution at North Liverpool Community Justice Centre after he duped security at a Premier League match and limbered up alongside star players.
In the stunt, before Manchester City’s game at Everton on March 16, 2013, Brodkin dressed as Bent, with blond highlights, shark-fin haircut and designer stubble, to blend in with the likes of England’s Joe Hart and Gareth Barry ahead of kick-off.
The qualified doctor, who had his own sketch show on BBC Three, was later charged with going on to the playing area, contrary to the Football Offences Act.
The charge was withdrawn and Brodkin was issued with a six-month conditional caution.
The Jason Bent character is Brodkin’s take on the bling lifestyle enjoyed by professional footballers.
Back in April 2013, Brodkin announced his intention to try to succeed David Miliband as South Shields’ MP, in character as king of ‘chav’ comedy Lee Nelson.
Claiming he’d stand for the Well Good Party – based on one of the catchphrases used on his BBC3 show – he read a speech on the steps of the Town Hall delivering his “17-point manifesto for a Well-Great Britain”.
He promised a series of eye-opening policies, including issuing each child with lottery scratchcards at birth, and upping the recommended daily allowances for drinking.
Announcing his candidacy, he said: “I want to be your next MP, I want to serve the constituents, better the lives of the people of Great Britain. But mainly, like every other MP, to get 65-grand a year, a second home and anything I can get away with on expenses.”
But he hardly endeared himself to prospective voters by saying: “I promise to put South Shields on the map - I looked yesterday, I could not find it anywhere.”
He added: “David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson - I wasn’t educated at Eton or Oxford. In fact, I wasn’t educated at all. It’s time to give the posh the push. And let Lee be your leader for a Well-Great Britain.”
“One of the Miliband twins, I ain’t sure which one, has abandoned you to take a gap year in America. Which means he’ll be in South Shields just as often as he was before.
“I’m here now, and I spent all morning speaking to real people on the streets of the North East and I can tell you now - I didn’t understand a word they said.”
But almost as soon as he’d submitted his nomination it was withdrawn.