TV

BBC defends use of uncensored version of 'Fairytale of New York' during Gavin and Stacey Christmas special

BBC have defended their decision to allow the use of the uncensored version of the song ‘Fairytale of New York’ during a special episode of Gavin and Stacey which aired on Christmas day.

The British broadcaster came under fire earlier this week for airing the word ‘f****t’ when it was used as part of a performance of ‘Fairytale of New York’ by The Pogues.

Nessa and Uncle Bryan sang the song during the episode, which included the slur.

In a statement to Independent.ie, a spokesperson for the broadcaster defended the use of the word.

“Fairytale of New York is a very popular, much loved Christmas song played widely throughout the festive season, and the lyrics are well established with the audience,” the spokesperson said.

The song is also played across national and regional radio stations all over the UK every day throughout the Christmas season.

Some viewers labelled the slur as “homophobic” on social media.

Speaking to The Sun, director Ruth Jones said that a decision was made to include the word to remain “true to the characters”.

“It is a different climate. But we have to remain true to the characters, to who they were,” she told The Sun.

“Characters in Gavin and Stacey are kind and big-hearted, I believe. So I think no one is going to be intentionally hurtful.

“But by the same token, they’re not necessarily going to be completely politically correct or be aware of political correctness,” she added.

The Gavin and Stacey Christmas special pulled in the highest ratings in 12 years, totalling 11.6 million viewers.

According to the BBC, it secured nearly half of the total viewing audience for its slot.

The special picked up 10 years after the previous instalment and revealed that Gavin and Stacey (Mathew Horne and Joanna Page) now have three children, while Smithy and Nessa (James Corden and Ruth Jones) were successfully co-parenting their son, Neil.

It ended on a dramatic cliffhanger, with a marriage proposal between two major characters left unanswered.

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