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Radio 1 Will No Longer Include Homophobic Slur in Fairytale Of New York

Radio 1 Will No Longer Include Homophobic Slur in Fairytale Of New York

We are now only a few weeks away from Christmas and radio stations have already begun playing the Christmas classics. One of those classics that we all know and love is 'Fairytale of New York'.

Today, BBC Radio 1 confirmed that it will not play the 1987 song, by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl in its original form this Christmas, because audiences may be offended by the use of a derogatory term, in addition to other offensive lyrics.

BBC Radio 1 will not play the original version of the song due to offensive language (Credit: PA)
BBC Radio 1 will not play the original version of the song due to offensive language (Credit: PA)

The station said its young listeners were particularly sensitive to derogatory terms for gender and sexuality and it will instead play an edited version with different lyrics sung by MacColl.

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The lyrics that have been deemed offensive include Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan calling MacColl an "old sl*t on junk", to which MacColl responds, calling him a "cheap, lousy f*****."

Despite BBC Radio 1 announcing that they will play a version with different lyrics, the original version will be played on BBC Radio 2, while 6 Music DJs can choose between the two different versions.

Fairytale of New York was previously censored by BBC Radio 1 in 2007 (Credit: PA)
Fairytale of New York was previously censored by BBC Radio 1 in 2007 (Credit: PA)

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A BBC spokesman 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."

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In 2019, the BBC Radio 1 DJ Alex Dyke announced he would not play the song on his show, calling it an "offensive pile of downmarket chav bilge". In a tweet that has since been deleted, he said: "Radio, let's ban 'Fairytale of New York' this Christmas! 'You're a sl*t on junk, you scumbag, cheap lousy f****t' - is this what we want our kids singing in the back of the car?"

He continued: "It's an offensive pile of downmarket chav bilge. We can do better!", the Independent reports.

Shane MacGowan pictured in 1997 (Credit: PA)
Shane MacGowan pictured in 1997 (Credit: PA)

The duet has become one of the most noteworthy non-traditional Christmas songs and has been covered numerous times, including a version by Ed Sheeran and Anne-Marie who replaced the slur with "blagger".

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Radio 1 previously censored the song in 2007, however that decision was swiftly overturned after an outcry from fans.

Featured Image Credit: The Pogues/Kirsty MacColl/Pogue Mahone

Topics: Christmas, Entertainment News, News, Music

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Gregory Robinson

Gregory is a journalist working for Tyla. After graduating with a master's degree in journalism, he has worked for both print and online publications and is particularly interested in TV, (pop) music and lifestyle. He loves Madonna, teen dramas from the 90s and prefers tea over coffee. Get in touch gregory.robinson@tyla.com