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Gavin And Stacey Christmas Special Rerun Won't Play Controversial Fairytale Of New York Lyric

Gavin And Stacey Christmas Special Rerun Won't Play Controversial Fairytale Of New York Lyric

It's that debate again

Amelia Ward

Amelia Ward

This year's Gavin & Stacey repeat will not feature 'that' lyric from 'Fairytale of New York'.

The show returned last Christmas when its first new episode for almost ten years aired, with the scene where Uncle Bryn sings The Pogues in the pub, singing the uncensored lyrics.

But this year, production firm Fulwell 73 has decided to cut the line, which many see as a homophobic slur, when it will be shown on BBC One tonight.

Last Christmas, the episode became the most watched show of the decade, when it gathered an unbelievable 11.6 million viewers, making it the biggest festive special since Christmas 2008, across all channels.

The makers of the show found themselves taking part in the long-running discussion over the lyric sung by the late Kirsty MacColl.


A source is reported to have told The Sun: "Fulwell 73 thought long and hard about this and they hope the change will ensure the special can be enjoyed by all audiences, present and future, without causing any unintended offence."

A spokesman for Fulwell 73 told me: "In keeping with the programme's themes of joy, love and inclusivity, Fulwell 73 have decided to re-edit the song. We are grateful to the BBC for allowing us to make this change."

A BBC spokeswoman added: "Attitudes change over time and we appreciate language is a sensitive and important topic for some people. We respect Fulwell's decision."

The lyric was actually first changed by Kirsty MacColl herself during a live performance on Top of the Pops in 1992, when she sang: "You're cheap and you're haggard," just five years after it was first released.


Yep, we've been discussing this for 28 years.

It came up again this year when BBC Radio 1 decided to play an alternate version of the song 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sparked debate over its use of the homophobic slur 'f*****' as well as the word 'sl**', with many thinking the outdated words need to be ditched.

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

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

The word 'sl**' has also been muted.

BBC Radio 2 continue to play an 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."

Featured Image Credit: BBC