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Hellraiser Shane is back with Pogues for tour

Hellraising Pogues star Shane MacGowan has admitted that the group's huge Christmas hit Fairytale Of New York is not in fact his favourite seasonal song.

With the group celebrating the 20th anniversary of its release this Christmas, the gap-toothed singer said he prefers to listen to the much more mellow strains of Nat King Cole over his Christmas dinner.

"My favourite number is The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole, you know, the one about chestnuts roasting on an open fire," he declared.

MacGowan, who now lives in Dublin with fiancee Victoria Mary Clarke, is lining up ex-Pogues bassist Cait O'Riordan to sing the song with him when the Pogues perform in the RDS Main Hall on December 23.

Ironically, Cait, who also now lives in Dublin, was supposed to sing the original duet with him 20 years ago, but quit the band not long before the recording.

In the end producer Steve Lillywhite recruited his then wife, the late Kirsty MacColl, to sing it instead.

The Pogues now reform every December for a Christmas tour of the UK and Ireland, but it is not yet known if Irish guitarist Phil Chevron will be with them this time around.

Chevron was diagnosed as suffering from throat cancer last summer and has been undergoing treatment ever since.

And while Fairytale Of New York is one of the top Christmas songs of all time -- it never actually made number one in the charts when it was first released back in 1987.

It only reached number two --with The Pet Shop Boys taking the top slot with their version of the Elvis Presley classic Always On My Mind.

Video of the Day

At the time MacGowan declared: "We were beaten by two queens and a drum machine!"

It also took MacGowan and Jem Finer nearly two years to pen the song, eventually fusing two numbers together.

The black and white video was shot in a New York precinct house -- and during it MacGowan nearly got himself arrested for drunkenness.

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