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BBC Radio 1 Will Play Alternate Version Of Fairytale Of New York This Year

BBC Radio 1 Will Play Alternate Version Of Fairytale Of New York This Year

BBC Radio 1 will play an alternate version of The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl Christmas classic 'Fairytale of New York' this year as some of its listeners may be offended by the original.

The song has previously sparked debate over its use of the homophobic slur 'f*****' as well as the word 'slut', with many thinking the outdated words need to be ditched.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

This year, Radio 1 will be playing an alternate version which will still feature lyrics sung by Kirsty MacColl - with the BBC saying that younger audiences could be particularly sensitive to the original.

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The new version will replace the lyrics 'you cheap, lousy f*****' with the words, 'you're cheap and you're haggard'.

It's also believed the word 'slut' will be muted.

BBC Radio 2 will play original version of the song, while 6 Music DJ will have both options available, according to the broadcaster.

A spokesperson for BBC told LADbible: "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."

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The alternate version still features lyrics from Kirsty MacColl. Credit: PA
The alternate version still features lyrics from Kirsty MacColl. Credit: PA

Last year, the BBC faced a backlash after the Gavin & Stacey Christmas special featured the 1987 version of the song.

Nessa, played by Ruth Jones, and Bryn, played by Rob Brydon, belted out the song - complete with offensive lyrics - during a karaoke session in the festive episode.

But many viewers found the scene uncomfortable and the BBC received 886 complaints, along with 11 complaints to telly watchdog Ofcom.

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However, in an interview with the Sun Online at the time, Jones defended the use of the original song, explaining: "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."

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC
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Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan has also previously defended his song, appearing on Ireland's The Late Late Show, last year he said: "There is no political correctness to it.

"I've been told it's insulting to gays; I don't understand how that works."

When the host told him why it might offend some people, he added: "Nobody in the band thinks that's worth a second's thought."

However, MacGowan has previously admitted he'd be quite happy for anyone who is unhappy with the use of the word to censor the song.

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He said: "If people don't understand that I was trying to accurately portray the character as authentically as possible then I am absolutely fine with them bleeping the word, but I don't want to get into an argument."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Christmas, BBC, Music

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Claire Reid

Claire is a journalist at LADbible who, after dossing around for a few years, went to Liverpool John Moores University. She graduated with a degree in Journalism and a whole load of debt. When not writing words in exchange for money she is usually at home watching serial killer documentaries surrounded by cats. You can contact Claire at [email protected]