Great British Bake Off presenter Matt Lucas has declared he is now a German citizen and has secured dual nationality after he controversially branded Brexit ‘pointless and masochistic’.
The 47-year-old comic, who rose to fame starring alongside David Walliams in Little Britain, took to social media on Tuesday to reveal his dual nationality and show off a pin badge of the two national flags given to him by the German Embassy in London to collect his paperwork.
In a post, the Remainer explained that his grandmother escaped Berlin in 1938. He previously told how members of his maternal side fled Nazi persecution over their Jewish heritage prior to World War Two. Lucas was then born in London in 1974 to parents Diana and John.
He said the naturalisation process had taken about six months, before amusingly quipping that he had been given a pin badge featuring both the British and German flags and gummy bears, or ‘Gummibärchen’.
‘Now to choose a German football team,’ he told his social media followers.
FC Union Berlin was the first team to contact Lucas, commenting ‘Willkommen’ – ‘welcome’ – and sharing a handshake emoji. Lucas, an Arsenal fan, replied: ‘I have been claimed by Union Berlin, it seems. My new German team, then!’
Lucas previously caused a stir when he shared an anti-Brexit article by The Guardian newspaper and branded London’s deal with the EU ‘pointless and masochistic’. He did not comment on whether his decision to change his nationality was based on the referendum outcome.
Great British Bake Off presenter Matt Lucas has declared he is now a German citizen and has secured dual nationality
Lucas has announced he is now a German citizen after securing dual nationality following his scathing comments about Brexit
Lucas previously told how members of his maternal side fled Nazi persecution over their Jewish heritage prior to World War Two. He was born in London in 1974 to parents Diana (pictured) and John
Opinion: The comedian previously caused a stir when he shared an anti-Brexit article published by The Guardian, branding the deal ‘pointless and masochistic’
Today, Lucas also responded to a fan who asked if he was now entitled to a German passport, to which he replied saying: ‘yes’
How did Matt Lucas get German citizenship?
Matt Lucas has previously told how members of his maternal side fled Nazi persecution over their Jewish heritage prior to World War Two.
It appears he took advantage of changes to German law made this year which make it easier for descendants of those who fled Nazi persecution to obtain citizenship.
Under German law, people stripped of their citizenship on political, racial or religious grounds can have it restored, and so can their descendants. But legal loopholes had prevented many people from benefiting.
Campaigners are saying the move allows many to reconnect with their German heritage, particularly in the Jewish community.
While Germany’s post-war constitution allows citizenship to be restored, many people had their applications rejected due to the lack of a legal framework.
Some applications were denied because their ancestors had taken another nationality before their citizenship was revoked, while for others they were born to a German mother, but not a German father.
Previously, the Bake Off star said: ‘I’m a Remainer and I’m proud of the fact that Britain has a rich and varied racial and cultural mix.’
Earlier this year, the German Parliament voted to lift restrictions that prevented some descendants of German Jews from claiming citizenship.
Those whose ancestors were persecuted by the Nazis, including Roma and Jews, now have an easier path to becoming German.
Lawyer Felix Couchman, who lobbied for the change, told Deutsche Welle at the time that the new law was ‘a milestone’ and said receiving citizenship was significant as it symbolised ‘a recognition that a wrong was done to them and their family members and forebears and that is now finally being acknowledged and being corrected.’
Lucas also responded to a fan who asked if he was now entitled to a German passport, to which he replied saying: ‘yes’.
During a recent episode of Bake Off, Lucas and his co-star Noel Fielding dressed up as German band Kraftwerk for the introduction to a German-themed week on the show.
He also sang The Flintstones theme entirely in German for Bake Off frontrunner Jürgen Krauss, who hails from the Black Forest.
At the time, Lucas defended his accent on the episode to critics who called their ‘fake’ German accents ‘rude’ and ‘offensive’.
‘I am Anglo-German. I am a citizen of both countries, with passports for each, so I’ll do a ropey German accent any time I like,’ he tweeted. ‘Mind you, I’ll probably also do a French accent and an Italian one, if I fancy. Cause, acting, innit.’
Lucas quipped that he also sang the song – known as Feuersteins – at the German Embassy in London.
Social media was ablaze over Lucas’s announcement, with scores of fans praising his decision to get dual nationality.
One person wrote: ‘That’s amazing! Germany just got a tiny bit funnier. Herzlich Willkommen!’
Twitter users praised Lucas’s announcement last night and today
No comment: The comedian did not comment on whether his decision to change his nationality was based on the Brexit vote
Another said: ‘I knew there was a deeper bond between you & Jurgen from #GBBO. Herzlichen Gluckwunsch!’
But a third chimed in: ‘Congratulations. You now have the German responsibility to complain about absolutely everything and to share your opinion even if you don’t know the topic and no one asked for it.’
Lucas caused a stir in February last year when he shared an anti-Brexit article published by The Guardian.
Resharing the news outlets headline, he wrote: ‘Brexit, the most pointless, masochistic ambition in our country’s history, is done.’
Responding to Lucas’s post, one Twitter user said: ‘We had a ‘rich and varied culture mix’ long before we entered the EU.
Response: Matt also responded to a fan who asked if he was now entitled to a German passport, to which he replied saying: ‘yes’
Lighthearted: Matt quipped that he also sang the song – known as Feuersteins – at the German embassy
‘I’m a remainer!’ The funnyman – who is best-known for the sketch shows he created with Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams – appeared happy to reveal his stance on Brexit
‘Once we’re out, we can continue to mix with the whole world and not just with the EU countries alone!’
Another said: ‘He can’t, he’s in a luvvy bubble. No idea about the real world. Just happy virtue signalling.’
And one explained that Brexiteers ‘voted for change’ and ‘not to maintain the establishment and status quo’.
They added: ‘We’re sick and tired of wealthy sanctimonious celebrities in their London media bubble telling us how to vote and what to think.’