Ruth Jones defends homophobic slur in Gavin and Stacey

Ruth Jones has defended the word ‘f****t’ being used in the Gavin & Stacey Christmas special where the characters perform a rendition of Fairytale of New York.

The highly anticipated episode sees Ruth’s character Nessa and Uncle Bryn (Rob Brydon) sing The Pogues’ popular Christmas song with the co-creator saying they were remaining true to the characters by leaving the word uncensored. 

The song’s lyrics: ‘You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap-lousy f****t’ have proved controversial with calls for the homophobic slur to be censored from the track. 

Interview: Ruth Jones, 53, has defended the word 'f****t' being used in the Gavin & Stacey Christmas special where the characters perform a rendition of Fairytale of New York

Interview: Ruth Jones, 53, has defended the word 'f****t' being used in the Gavin & Stacey Christmas special where the characters perform a rendition of Fairytale of New York

Interview: Ruth Jones, 53, has defended the word ‘f****t’ being used in the Gavin & Stacey Christmas special where the characters perform a rendition of Fairytale of New York

Ruth told The Sun that while the Christmas special is being shown in a ‘different climate’ to the original series which wrapped in 2010, she said the moment is not going to be ‘intentionally hurtful’.

She said: ‘It is a different climate. But we have to remain true to the characters, to who they were. 

‘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.’

Christmas special: Ruth said that while the Christmas special is being shown in a 'different climate' to the original series which wrapped in 2009

Christmas special: Ruth said that while the Christmas special is being shown in a 'different climate' to the original series which wrapped in 2009

Christmas special: Ruth said that while the Christmas special is being shown in a ‘different climate’ to the original series which wrapped in 2009 

The BBC has also defended its decision to air the song in its uncensored version, citing its continued popularity among audiences. 

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.’

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell previously told The Times he objected to the BBC’s decision to not censor the slur when played on the radio.  

He said: ‘The BBC would not screen a Christmas song with the n-word in it. It would be deemed deeply prejudiced and unacceptable. So why the double standards when it comes to the f-word?’

Ruth said: 'We have to remain true to the characters, to who they were. 'Characters in Gavin & Stacey are kind and big-hearted, I believe. So I think no one is going to be intentionally hurtful'

Ruth said: 'We have to remain true to the characters, to who they were. 'Characters in Gavin & Stacey are kind and big-hearted, I believe. So I think no one is going to be intentionally hurtful'

Ruth said: ‘We have to remain true to the characters, to who they were. ‘Characters in Gavin & Stacey are kind and big-hearted, I believe. So I think no one is going to be intentionally hurtful’

Adding that the word is ‘pejorative to the LGBT community’, he said: ‘It would send completely the wrong signal. It will give comfort to homphobes everywhere.’

The Pogues singer Shane MacGowan previously discussed the word being used in the song, where it is sang by Kirsty MacColl. 

In a statement given to Virgin Media Television’s The Tonight Show, MacGowan, who also co-wrote the song, said the lyric was sang by a character who is not intended to be a nice or wholesome person. 

He said: ‘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. 

Uncensored: The BBC has also defended its decision to air the song in its uncensored version, citing its continued popularity among audiences

Uncensored: The BBC has also defended its decision to air the song in its uncensored version, citing its continued popularity among audiences

Uncensored: The BBC has also defended its decision to air the song in its uncensored version, citing its continued popularity among audiences 

‘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.’

Gavin & Stacey returns on Christmas Day (Wednesday) at 8:30pm on BBC One. 

Show: Gavin & Stacey returns on Christmas Day (Wednesday) at 8:30pm on BBC One

Show: Gavin & Stacey returns on Christmas Day (Wednesday) at 8:30pm on BBC One

Show: Gavin & Stacey returns on Christmas Day (Wednesday) at 8:30pm on BBC One 

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