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The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan to be subtitled in new documentary about his life

Louis Chilton
·2-min read
Shane MacGowan onstage in London’s Hyde Park in 2014 (Getty Images)
Shane MacGowan onstage in London’s Hyde Park in 2014 (Getty Images)

The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan is set to be subtitled in a forthcoming documentary film about his life.

Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan had initially screened for press without subtitles, but faced complaints that MacGowan’s speech was difficult to make out.

Director Julien Temple told BBC News that interpreting MacGowan’s “strange mixture of Irish and English” was sometimes “an acquired listening skill”.

However, he added that it was the distributor’s decision, and not his, to add the option of subtitling the musician.

“We certainly knew that in the States we would have to possibly subtitle it,” he said. “In the end it is a decision for the distributors to make.”

As well as his distinctive accent, MacGowan also spent many years of his life without a full set of teeth.

In 2015, however, the artist underwent a nine-hour dental procedure to install a new set of teeth with titanium implants.

The film will be released on DVD and on demand on 7 December, and will air on BBC Four in 2021.

Viewers will be given the option whether or not to use the subtitles on MacGowan’s speech.

The Pogues were recently at the centre of a debate over the censorship of a homophobic slur in their classic Christmas hit “Fairytale of New York”.

The BBC’s decision that some radio stations would broadcast a censored version of the song prompted complaints from some, but the broadcaster stood by the move.

“We know ‘Fairytale of New York’ is considered a Christmas classic and we will continue to play it this year on BBC Radio, with our stations choosing the version of the song most relevant for their audience,” a spokesperson said.

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