‘Fairytale of New York’ banned by BBC radio presenter who called the song “chav bilge”

"Is this what we want our kids singing in the back of the car?"

BBC Radio Solent DJ Alex Dyke has told listeners that he is “no longer comfortable” with playing The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl‘s ‘Fairytale of New York’, having previously tweeted that the song was “downmarket chav bilge”.

In the since-deleted tweet, posted before the 57-year-old’s afternoon radio show, Dyke wrote: “Radio, let’s ban Fairytale Of New York this Christmas! ‘You’re a slut on junk, you scumbag, cheap lousy f****t’ – is this what we want our kids singing in the back of the car? It’s an offensive pile of downmarket chav bilge. We can do better!”

During the show itself, Dyke went on to explain that he would no longer be playing ‘Fairytale Of New York’. “I hope I’m not going to ruin your Christmas, but I’ve decided that I am no longer comfortable with playing Fairytale of New York by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl,” he told listeners.


“I think Christmas songs should be about excited children, toys, Christmas trees, snowy streets, ski lodges, reindeer, wrapping paper, Santa, family, peace on earth and love,” the DJ added. “I just find the Pogues’ ‘Fairytale of New York’ a nasty, nasty song.”

The song has become an annual source of debate as radio stations begin playing the song in the build up to Christmas. The contentious verse includes the lines: “You’re a bum / You’re a punk / You’re an old slut on junk / Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed / You scumbag, you maggot / You cheap lousy f****t / Happy Christmas your arse / I pray God it’s our last.”

Last year (7 December) The Pogues’ singer Shane MacGowan responded to the controversy, stating that the reference was never intended to be homophobic.

“The word was used by the character because it fitted with the way she would speak and with her character. She is not supposed to be a nice person, or even a wholesome person. She is a woman of a certain generation at a certain time in history and she is down on her luck and desperate”, MacGowan said in a statement.