Probably knowing that someone else would make it up if they didn’t spell it out, the BBC has admitted “BBC Radio 1 will not play the original version of Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl this Christmas, because its audience may be offended by some of the lyrics. The station said young listeners were particularly sensitive to derogatory terms for gender and sexuality”. What version would they play, then?
“It will instead play an edited version with different lyrics sung by MacColl. But the 1987 original will still be played on Radio 2, while 6 Music DJs can choose between the two versions. 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’”. So the Beeb is not banning it altogether.
That, though, was not enough for all the Beeb bashers out there. The rotten BBC had FORCED someone to do something, or maybe not do something. One Tweeter wasn’t impressed by the Damascene conversion of the outraged: “I personally couldn't care less about which version of Fairytale of New York is played but 'defund the BBC' trending cos gammons are livid that a homophobic slur won't be broadcast is just outstanding. ‘CHRISTMAS IS RUINED IF I CAN'T HEAR F*GGOT 40 TIMES A DAY!’”
Also, it seems The Pogues weren’t fussed, as Kaya Burgess of the Times pointed out “The Pogues seem perfectly fine with the BBC (or whoever) playing versions of 'Fairytale of New York' with alternative lyrics. This is all you need to know. Put the tiresome annual debate back in its box. Step away from the hot takes. Go about your lives”.
But one contrarian voice would do no such thing: step forward Laurence “not even slightly bigoted and/or racist” Fox, minor thesp and piss-poor musician, to whine “Here we go again. The cultural commissars at the @bbc are telling you what is and isn’t appropriate for your ignorant little ears. Wouldn’t it be nice if we sent the (proper) version to the top of the charts? #DefundTheBBC”. What say the world outside his bubble to that one?
Sadly for Lozza, that world included The Pogues, whose official Twitter feed gave him short shrift, responding “Fuck off you little Herrenvolk shite”. They also Retweeted this comment by journalist Harrison Brock: “This is all I’m gonna say on it for the whole year: the word itself being in ‘Fairytale of New York’ doesn’t bother or offend me. But straight people being so angry & outraged at its removal and literally fighting and arguing for the right to sing it bothers me deeply”. That is a most telling, and shaming, comment.
Laurence Fox is still not bigoted. But you can see it from there. Very clearly indeed.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at