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Radio GaGa BBC to censor 'offensive' lyrics from Fairytale Of New York


 Pogues singer Shane McGowan and his wife Victoria Mary Clarke

Pogues singer Shane McGowan and his wife Victoria Mary Clarke


Pogues singer Shane McGowan and his wife Victoria Mary Clarke

BBC Radio chiefs have banned the original version of Christmas favourite Fairytale Of New York claiming it is offensive to listeners. 

Every year a debate ensues over the lyrics to what has become one of the world’s most popular Christmas songs.

Critics of the classic hit want radio and television stations to remove or bleep out the words “f**got” and “slut”, sang by the late Kirsty MacColl.

RTÉ and other Irish stations have so far resisted any online petitions to play a “radio friendly” version of the track.

This year, however, the BBC has made a decision to play an alternative version of the track, with the record label providing different lyrics sung by MacColl.

It is understood Radio 1 bosses were wary of offending younger listeners with derogatory terms for gender and sexuality.

In a bizarre move the station’s youth station, Radio 2, will play the original song, but said it will continue to monitor listeners’ views.

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.”

MacGowan has previously defended his choice of words.

Speaking on 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.

“Nobody in the band thinks that’s worth a second’s thought.

“The word was used by the character because it fitted with the way she would speak and with her character.”

It is estimated that the Pogues front man earns just over €500,000 each year on royalties from the hit record.

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Online Editors