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27th Dec 2019

Gavin & Stacey’s Ruth Jones explains why the show didn’t censor its Fairytale of New York performance

Jade Hayden

Seen the special yet, or?

Gavin & Stacey‘s Ruth Jones has explained why the show decided not to change the words of its Fairytale of New York performance.

The Christmas special – which pulled in over 11 million viewers on Wednesday – saw Jones’s character Nessa and Rob Brydon’s Byrn take to the stage to belt out The Pogues’ classic.

The song has been the subject of much debate in recent years due to the inclusion of a homophobic slur. However, Jones has said that she and fellow writer James Corden decided not to censor 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 & 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.”

Following a series of complaints on Twitter, the BBC also issued a statement defending the inclusion of the slur – and the song itself – in the episode.

“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,” they said.

The Gavin & Stacey Christmas special was the most watched show on Christmas day, pulling in an average of 11.5 million viewers.

The eagerly anticipated episode ended, as most Gavin & Stacey episodes tend to, with a cliffhanger as Nessa proposed to Smithy as their Christmas day came to a close.

Jones has since said that the outcome of the proposal could “go either way.”

“Well, genuinely I don’t know the answer to that,” she said.

“You could go either way with it. It could be the most ridiculous thing, or it could be a marriage made in heaven.

“But don’t you think it would end the interest? If they did become a proper couple, would that spoil it? These are all questions that we ponder.”