BBC Radio 1 will not play the original version of “Fairytale of New York” this Christmas

BBC Radio 1 will not play the original version of “Fairytale of New York” because of its lyrics.

The Christmas favourite by The Pogues and Kirtsy MacColl has lines considered “sensitive and derogatory” about gender and sexuality.

It’s feared the words might offend younger listeners.

Radio 1 will play an edited version.

However, the original version will still be aired on BBC Radio 2.

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.”

The unlikely duet with MacColl and Pogues’ singer Shane MacGowan has made the Christmas chart top 20 for the last 15 years.

It’s currently at number 59.

The song is about a blazing row between an alcoholic and a heroin addict.

It’s not the first time its lyrics have come under scrutiny.

The track was censured by Radio 1 in 2007 but the decision was reversed after complaints from listeners.










About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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