BBC Radio 1 says it won’t play original version of Fairytale of New York this Christmas
An edited version of the song will be played on the station instead, while the original version will still be played on BBC Radio 2.
BBC Radio 1 has confirmed that it will not play the original version of ‘Fairytale of New York’, a Christmas song by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl, on air this Christmas.
The station took the decision, the BBC said, because audiences may be offended by the lyrics and that young listeners were particularly sensitive to derogatory terms for gender and sexuality.
An edited version of the song, in which two lines will be changed, including the line ‘you’re drunk and you’re haggard’ replacing a line that includes a homophobic slur, will be played on BBC Radio 1 instead.
The original song will still be played on BBC Radio 2, with DJs on BBC 6 Music having a choice between the two versions.
"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," a BBC spokesperson said.
Up until this year, BBC Radio 1 has played the song in its original form. In 2007, a decision taken to censor the song was overturned after criticism from listeners.
The song has been controversial for ages with Kirsty McCall even changing the lyrics when she performed the song on Top of the Pops in 1992.