RTÉ won't change policy on 'Fairytale of New York' ahead of Late Late Show live performance 3 years ago

RTÉ won't change policy on 'Fairytale of New York' ahead of Late Late Show live performance

This week's Late Late Show will be a celebration of the song.

RTÉ have reaffirmed that their policy of broadcasting 'Fairytale of New York' without omissions will apply to a live performance of the song on Friday's Late Late Show (13 December).


Ahead of this week's show — which will feature the song's writer Shane MacGowan alongside family, friends and fellow musicians and will include a performance of the song in studio — RTÉ have confirmed that this policy is still in place.

In a statement to JOE, a spokesperson for the state broadcaster said: "Last year RTÉ stated that the song 'Fairytale of New York' will continue to be played on RTÉ Radio without omissions; that statement also applies to RTÉ television content and still stands."

Whether this means that the lyrics will be sung in their original form, or whether the offending word will be replaced by another, such as 'haggard' - as in Ronan Keating's version of the song, for example - remains to be seen.

'Fairytale of New York' has been at the centre of controversy in recent years. Last Christmas, RTÉ DJs Eoghan McDermott and Stephen Byrne publicly spoke out against the lyrics of the song, specifically its use of a homophobic slur.


Speaking on the matter, Byrne said: "For some it's literally a word that can slice open a wound that bleeds memories of real life and online bullying, possibly times linked into someone's coming out, for me memories of feeling left behind on a football pitch."

McDermott said two gay members of his staff suggested bleeping the word, and not playing the song at all, respectively.

RTÉ Radio followed up by making public its own policy on the iconic song, which was that it would be broadcast "without omissions" across its stations.