Listen To The Banned



I won’t be playing Britain’s favourite Christmas song on the radio.

“Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues is consistently voted Britain’s most popular Christmas song but thanks to a ruling by the broadcast regulator, Ofcom, I won’t be playing it on London’s Fix Radio, the radio station for builders and tradespeople.

In August this year, Ofcom upheld a complaint from a listener to my Breakfast Show on BOBfm from back in July. On the air, the operator of a speed camera was described as a ‘scumbag’ by a caller and as a ‘maggot’ by me.

BOBfm was found to be in breach of ‘Rule 2.3 of the broadcasting code which states, “Broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context…Such material may include offensive language…[or] discriminatory treatment or language”.

By the time Ofcom upheld the listener complaint, I had left BOBfm and I’m now the Program Director at Fix Radio in London.

Ofcom have made it very clear that the words ‘scumbag’ and ‘maggot’ are offensive and not suitable for broadcast. As Programme Director, my first job is to protect the radio station’s licence. ‘Scumbag’ and ‘maggot’ are lyrics that can be clearly heard in ‘Fairytale of New York’. I don’t want to put Fix Radio’s licence in jeopardy so have been forced to remove the most popular song at Christmas time from our playlist. I would warn all other radio stations in Britain not to play ‘Fairytale of New York’ because Ofcom, as the UK’s communications regulator, has set a clear precedent about language that cannot be broadcast. As the exact same words are used in the song, Ofcom will be forced to take action, otherwise they will be seen as inconsistent or biased.”

Read about the original Ofcom ruling here

This morning I heard the DAB radio station, ‘Heart Extra Christmas’ play ‘Fairytale of New York’. Here are some of the lyrics that were broadcast at a time when children could have been listening,

“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 faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it’s our last”

The irony is that they played the song straight after a station ID that said, “Turn up the festive feel-good”. 

Someone should complain.

Craic on!

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2 Responses to “Listen To The Banned”

  1. 1 girlvforty

    Ooops! Hope you are enjoying the new gig :)

  1. 1 practise test

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