Shane MacGowan’s wife says his ‘Fairytale of New York’ hit should “absolutely” be Christmas No1.
Journalist Victoria Mary Clarke was by the Pogues frontman’s side when he died from pneumonia at 3am on Thursday (30.11.23), weeks before his 66th birthday on Christmas Day and after months of battling illnesses.
She said on Today on BBC Radio 4: “It would be nice, wouldn’t it? It should be the Christmas No 1, it absolutely should. I am very much in favour of that.”
Discussing Shane’s final days, Victoria added she had been giving him health drinks and trying alternative therapists, hypnotists and physiotherapists.
She said: “He was putting up a really strong fight. He was trying very hard to breathe.
“He wasn’t ready to give up. He wasn’t ready to stop fighting but his body did it for him.”
Originally released in 1987, ‘Fairytale of New York’ has never reached the top spot in the UK charts, and in the wake of Shane’s death there have been calls for it to finally get the coveted Christmas honour.
Victoria has also revealed Shane spent his final months bingeing on ‘Father Ted’ episodes.
She was quoted in The Sun saying about how he wouldn’t stop watching the Channel 4 sitcom about two hapless priests stuck on bleak Craggy Island:
“So he wouldn’t get bored we brought a little DVD player into Shane and friends have been giving him presents of classic movies on DVD.
“But the thing he won’t stop playing is the ‘Father Ted; boxset. Shane watches that all day long and can’t stop laughing.”
Shane had been in and out of hospital several times before his death, and was first hospitalised in December 2022 suffering from viral encephalitis, which leads to brain swelling and left him in agony.
Along with amusing himself with ‘Father Ted’ re-runs, Shane also revelled in being visited by a string of music stars.
They included Bruce Springsteen, 74, who visited Shane during the Irish leg of his recent world tour.