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Subtitles added to Shane MacGowan documentary after ‘strange mixture of Irish and English’ complaints by viewers


Shane MacGowan of the Pogues. Photo by Andrew Catlin

Shane MacGowan of the Pogues. Photo by Andrew Catlin

Shane MacGowan of the Pogues. Photo by Andrew Catlin

Film distributors have decided to add subtitles to the UK release of Shane MacGowan’s documentary as media who watched the first release said he was hard to understand.

Titled Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, the documentary will be released on December 7.

Before its release copies were sent to the press to review it - however, many said it was hard to work out what The Pogues singer was saying.

Director Julien Temple told the BBC that the “strange mixture of Irish and English” could be tricky to understand and thus decided to add subtitles to the flick.

He added that it wasn’t his choice to add subtitles, and in the end it was that of the distributors whether they wanted to do so or not.

Altitude Films is distributing the documentary in Ireland and the UK and viewers will have the option of whether to use subtitles or not. The flick is also set to play on BBC Four next year.

Crock of Gold was played at the prestigious San Sebastian Film and won the special jury prize.

The Julien Temple-directed film will look at the life of the hard-living poet and singer from his childhood years until today. Big-name contributors include Johnny Depp, Bono, Nick Cave, Bobby Gillespie, Elvis Costello and Gerry Adams.

Speaking about the biopic earlier this year, Depp said: "Knowing Shane for 30 years, I am honoured to be producing the definitive film on both my friend and one of the most important artists and beloved poets of the 20th century."

Temple has previously worked on a critically acclaimed documentary on the Sex Pistols and has directed music videos for musicians including David Bowie, Joe Jackson, Neil Young, Blur, Depeche Mode and The Rolling Stones,

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A spokesperson for the film, Mark Jones, said fans can expect a "warts and all" documentary, adding: "Shane is very honest about everything he has been through."

The film includes unseen footage from the early days of the singer's life and will detail his heartbreak following the sudden death of Kirsty MacColl - with whom he performed on Fairytale of New York.

Jones revealed it will also contain "some really interesting conversations between Shane and Gerry Adams about what it means to be Irish".

A couple of weeks ago BBC Radio 1 announced it will not be playing the original version of Fairytale of New York on its airwaves this Christmas because of the song's use of a homophobic slur.

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s popular original version will not be featured as the station said young listeners were particularly sensitive to derogatory terms used in the song for gender and sexuality.

Instead, the station will play an edited version of the Christmas track which has different lyrics sung by Ms MacColl.

In the edited version, two lines in the song are changed, one of those being to “You’re cheap and you’re haggard” as opposed to a the original line, which features a homophobic slur.

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