Radio 1 Will Play Edited Version Of Fairytale Of New York This Year... But Radio 2 Won't

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl's Christmas tune has come under fire over its lyrical content.

The BBC has confirmed that Radio 1 will be airing an edited version of The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s Fairytale Of New York in the lead-up to Christmas this year, but its sister station will not.

In recent years, the festive tune has sparked a debate about its lyrical content, in particular a line in which Kirsty is heard singing: “You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap, lousy f****t.”

Others have also taken issue with lyrics like “you’re an old slut on junk”, which they also feel is not appropriate for radio broadcast.

Radio 1 has now revealed they’ll be playing an alternative version of the song, with different lyrics still sung by Kirsty MacColl.

Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan performing in 2014
Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan performing in 2014
Roberto Ricciuti via Getty Images

However, Radio 2 will be playing the usual, uncensored version of the song, while 6 Music will leave it to individual presenters to decide which version of the track they want to play.

In a statement, the BBC said: “We know the song is considered a Christmas classic and we will continue to play it this year, with our radio stations choosing the version of the song most relevant for their audience.”

Last week, the BBC came under fire after an uncensored version of the song was performed by Rob Byrdon and Ruth Jones in the Gavin & Stacey Christmas special, sparking almost 900 complaints.

Responding to those who had complained, a BBC rep said: “While the word ‘f****t’ is now widely acknowledged as having the potential to offend, the song never suggests or implies that this is, or was ever, an appropriate way to address another person, nor does it link it to homosexuality.

“Nessa and Bryn were seen singing the original lines and we can assure you there was no intention to offend viewers. We understand that some people will find it offensive in any context but we also recognise that the song is widely played and enjoyed in its original form.”

Bryn and Nessa performing together in the show's trailer
Bryn and Nessa performing together in the show's trailer

Ruth Jones, who co-wrote the show, previously told The Sun: “It is a different climate. But we have to remain true to the characters, to who they were.

“Characters in Gavin & Stacey are kind and big-hearted, I believe. So I think no one is going to be intentionally hurtful.

“But by the same token, they’re not necessarily going to be completely politically correct or be aware of political correctness.”


What's Hot