Shane MacGowan boasts new set of teeth
The Pogues singer Shane MacGowan had the "Everest of dentistry" to provide him with a set of new teeth.
The Irish musician's familiar toothless grin is gone for good, after McGowan - who co-wrote the band's biggest ever hit, Christmas classic 'A Fairytale of New York - underwent nine hours of reconstructive surgery on the instigation of his girlfriend, Victoria Clarke, to give him a wide white smile for the first time in his life.
Asked whether it was the "Everest of dentistry", McGowan's dentist, Dr Darragh Mulrooney, revealed that as procedures go, it was "as big as it gets" and the surgery required a "whole team to get to the summit".
In what some fans will see as a Christmas miracle, McGowan - who lost his last two teeth in 2008 after years of drug and alcohol abuse eroded them - had 28 dentures fitted alongside one gold tooth on a titanium frame, and the work should improve his singing ability.
Dr Mulrooney told The Independent newspaper: "Shane recorded most of his great works when he had some teeth to work with. The question on everyone's lips is how it will affect his voice ... We've effectively retuned his instrument and that will be an ongoing process. There was a moving moment when someone gave Shane an apple to eat ... something he hadn't done in 20 years."
The remarkable surgery has been documented for a Sky Arts TV special 'Shane MacGowan: A Wreck Reborn'.