A UK radio DJ has sparked outrage by refusing to play Christmas classic The Fairytale of New York by The Pogues, slamming it as "nasty" and saying "we can do better".
The much-loved alternative Christmas anthem, released in 1987 by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, has become a fixture of festive playlists everywhere despite the explicit language in its uncensored version.
Alex Dyke of BBC Radio Solent tweeted his objection prior to hosting his afternoon show: "Radio, let's ban Fairytale Of New York this Christmas! 'You're a s*** on junk, you scumbag, cheap lousy f****t' – is this what we want our kids singing in the back of the car?"
"It's an offensive pile of downmarket chav bilge. We can do better!"
He later deleted the tweet but on-air Dyke told his listeners that he was "no longer comfortable" with playing the tune.
He said: "I hope I'm not going to ruin your Christmas, but I've decided that I am no longer comfortable with playing Fairytale of New York by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.
"I think Christmas songs should be about excited children, toys, Christmas trees, snowy streets, ski lodges, reindeer, wrapping paper, Santa, family, peace on Earth and love. I just find the Pogues' Fairytale of New York a nasty, nasty song."
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He went on: "I just think that this guy, this toothless drunk, ruining the romantic image of New York city with a song about heroin is not on.
"I don't like the lyrics 'you're bum, you're a punk, you're a s*** on junk" – I think that's absolutely awful. I don't like 'you scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy f****t' – I find that offensive, I find that an offensive pile of downmarket bilge."
The DJ's stand was widely criticised online, with one comparing Dyke to bumbling fictional DJ Alan Partridge.
Others labelled him a "miserable old git", a "grade A plonker" and suggested the move was akin to "cancelling Christmas".
Some supported his stand, saying that the language in the song was unacceptable.
Warning: Explicit language
A BBC spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: "This was Alex's decision. There is no ban. We have a strict music policy that we expect to be followed."
This isn't the first time that lyrics of the song have come under fire, with BBC Radio 1 editing out the offensive language in 2007 before reversing their decision.
After broadcasters at the Irish channel RTE last year called for the song's gay slur to be bleeped out, songwriter Shane MacGowan defended his use of the term.
He told The Tonight Show: "The word was used by the character because it fitted with the way she would speak and with her character. She is not supposed to be a nice person, or even a wholesome person.
"She is a woman of a certain generation at a certain time in history and she is down on her luck and desperate. Her dialogue is as accurate as I could make it but she is not intended to offend.
"She is just supposed to be an authentic character and not all characters in songs and stories are angels or even decent and respectable, sometimes characters in songs and stories have to be evil or nasty in order to tell the story effectively.
"If people don't understand that I was trying to accurately portray the character as authentically as possible, then I am absolutely fine with them bleeping the word, but I don't want to get into an argument."