Derry and Strabane Council stop playing Gary Glitter’s Christmas song after complaints


A Northern Ireland council has banned a Christmas song by disgraced pop star Gary Glitter from being played in a town center following complaints from the public.

Derry City and the Strabane District Council have confirmed they have removed the 1984 track, “Another Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas” from its festive playlist in Strabane after concerns were raised by locals.

Officials admitted to making a mistake while playing the song.

Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, is currently in prison after being convicted of downloading child pornography in 1999 and child sexual abuse and attempted rape in 2006 and 2015.

The case concerned three young girls between 1975 and 1980. The ex-singer was also expelled from Cambodia on suspicion of child abuse in 2002.

The 76-year-old is currently serving a 16-year sentence for his crimes after an unsuccessful appeal in 2015.

Three years earlier, Glitter had been arrested in connection with Operation Yewtree, the main police investigation that also examined child abuse offenses committed by well-known public figures, including his pedophile colleague Jimmy Savile.

The fallen star had been a glam rock icon in the 1970s, selling over 20 million records for hits such as “I’m the Leader of the Gang” and “Do You Wanna Touch Me.”

Known for his sequined costumes, makeup and platform boots, Glitter’s Christmas track peaked at No.7 on the UK Singles Chart 36 years ago, making it his most successful song. since 1975.

Since his conviction, the festive Glitter track has effectively been wiped out of Christmas pop song history.

His performances on the BBC’s Top of the Pops have not been rebroadcast since his conviction in 2015.

In 2006, he gave an interview to the BBC denying that he was a pedophile.

The Strabane Chronicle reported that the song was performed with festive tunes from Paul McCartney, Chris de Burgh and Mariah Carey.

Residents contacted the council after hearing Glitter’s music.

A council spokesperson said the song was deleted in response to public concerns.

“The track was removed after it was highlighted by a member of the public,” they said.

A woman who complained praised the council for taking action, saying: “Mistakes can be made, but the council did the right thing by removing the song from the playlist.

“Maybe the song was on the list by mistake because her songs are no longer heard on the radio or seen on television and therefore probably went unrecognized.”

She added, “After what this man did his songs should be deleted from history. I think the board deleted them as soon as they were reported, which is absolutely the right thing to do.

Local councilor Raymond Barr congratulated council on the move on Wednesday, adding that he himself would have alerted council if he had heard the song.

“Considering what Christmas is – the emphasis on children this time of year – it’s a stark contrast to the offenses committed by Paul Gadd,” he told the Belfast Telegraph. “It was the right thing to do by the board.”

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