Richard Madeley

Don’t cancel Queen

[Getty Images]

Another week, another whitewash. The latest chunk of culture to be painted out of existence is ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’, Queen’s 1978 hit. Don’t misunderstand me. I’ve never liked the song. I think it’s crude, patronising and misogynistic. It was pretty dated even on the day Queen recorded it. But that’s my problem. Millions loved it. That’s why it was track four on the band’s 1981 Greatest Hits album. But as Universal Records re-release Queen’s classic collection, FBG is track nothing. Track gone. Track ghosted. We’ve got to stop doing this neopuritanical cultural censorship, whether it be with songs, books (Enid Blyton’s PC-filtered Famous Five or P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves), fairy stories (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), or films (Gone with the Wind). These icons from the past are rather like maps, guiding us to our shared history. They tell us where we are today; how far we’ve come – or maybe how far we’ve slipped. The present can have no meaning if we keep erasing the past. Queen sang about fat-bottomed girls. Maybe they shouldn’t have – but they did. Pretending they didn’t is even more stupid than those crap lyrics.

Seven-thirty on Tuesday morning and – for me at least – at last a clear explanation for Lucy Letby and what she did. Evil personified? No, at least not in the metaphysical sense. A monster created by nurture? Again, no. Criminal psychologist Dr David Holmes, speaking to me on Good Morning Britain, dealt directly with the two fundamental questions the rest of us have been wrestling with for days. Why did she…? How could she…?  In one of the most grimly fascinating interviews I’ve ever done, Holmes, an expert on psychopaths, made it clear he personally has zero doubts about what drove Letby to become a serial killer.

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