BBC Radio 1 to play edited version of Christmas classic Fairytale Of New York to avoid offending listeners

BBC Radio 1 are to play an edited version of Christmas classic Fairytale Of New York to avoid offending listeners.

The Pogues’ gritty 1987 hit with Kirsty MacColl is a Christmas staple – but in recent years it has been the focus of debate over its lyrics.

This year, Radio 1 will play an alternative version of the track.

The word “f****t” – sung by MacColl – is changed to “haggard”, while Shane MacGowan’s “sl*t” insult is muted.

Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl perform Fairytale of New York on the BBC (screengrab).

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

Radio 2 will play the original song, but will continue to monitor listeners’ views. 6 Music has made an edited version available and will allow presenters to make the choice.

In a statement, the BBC said: “We know the song is considered a Christmas classic and we will continue to play it, with our radio stations choosing the version of the song most relevant for their audience.”

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