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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020

BBC defends use of word 'f****t' in Gavin and Stacey Christmas special

Characters Nessa and Uncle Bryan, played by Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon, sang Fairytale of New York during the show.

Image: BBC

THE BBC HAS defended the use of the word ‘f****t’ in a performance of The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York on the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special.

During the show, characters Nessa and Uncle Bryan, played by Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon, sang the song, including the word ‘f****t’.

There has been a debate in recent years about whether the word should be censored in the song. Recently, Shane McGowan said he had included the word in the song because it fit with the way the flawed character would speak but that he is “absolutely fine” with it being censored.

There was criticism of the decision not to change the word in the Christmas special:

Tweet by @Beth Fisher Source: Beth Fisher/Twitter

The BBC defended the choice. A spokesperson said: “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.”

In an interview with The Sun, Ruth Jones who co-wrote the show, also spoke about the decision to stick to the original lyrics.

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

“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.”

Gavin and Stacey was the most watched show on Christmas Day with 11.6 million viewers.

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