A 2012 clip of Dawn French 'forgetting' the lyrics to Fairytale of New York has resurfaced following Shane MacGowan's death.

MacGowan died last week aged 65 and has been fondly remembered as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, "the greatest Irish writer since James Joyce", some have said.

Despite having a vast catalogue of hits with his band The Pogues, he is perhaps most well remembered for his hit classic Fairytale of New York.

Since MacGowan passed away, the song is now favourite to become this year's Christmas number one, only ever reaching number two previously.

Dawn French performs Fairytale of New York

Back in 2012, Gary Barlow was joined on stage at the O2 Apollo by Dawn French, Tulisa, and Nicole Scherzinger, 34, for a rendition of The Pogues’ Fairytale Of New York on ITV's Text Santa.

"Gary has been waiting to duet with me for such a long time and tonight he finally got his wish, and I finally relented," joked 55-year-old French at the time.

Shane MacGowan's Christmas classic Fairytale of New York has always stirred controversy for its contentious lyrics and looks likely to again now its favourite for number one.

As Barlow sang MacGowan's part: "You're an old s*** on junk. Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed".

The infamous part fell to French, who seemingly 'forgot' to sing the bit everybody had been waiting for.

In 2012, the song was not as controversial as it appears today and perhaps French was ahead of the game and foresaw the offence it could cause.

Fairytale of New York

Fun fact - MacGowan was born on Christmas Day.

Although known for other hits such as Dirty Old Town and Sally MacLennane, The Pogues were best known for Fairytale of New York with Kirsty MacColl.

MacGowan insisted that it arose as a result of a wager made by the Pogues' producer at the time, Elvis Costello, that the band would not be able to write a Christmas hit single.

The song has always courted controversy but remains one of the more popular festive anthems. 

On November 19, 2020, PinkNews journalist Josh Milton described the seemingly annual argument over whether or not the use of the word "f****t" was offensive as "Britain's worst festive tradition".

It is the most-played Christmas song of the 21st century in the UK.