BBC Radio 1 has decided to edit one of the most popular Christmas songs to avoid it causing offence.

The Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl has been altered by BBC bosses so instead of saying 'you cheap lousy f****t' it will now be heard on the radio as 'you're cheap and you're haggard'.

They have also muted the word 'sl*t' from the song.

Justifying the decision, the station said young listeners were particularly sensitive to derogatory terms for gender and sexuality.

The 1987 original will still be played on Radio 2, while 6 Music DJs can choose between the two versions.

In a statement the BBC said: "We know the song is considered a Christmas classic and we will continue to play it this year, with our radio stations choosing the version of the song most relevant for their audience."

First released in 1987, Fairytale of New York has reached the top 20 of the UK singles chart on 15 separate occasions.