Stephen Fry, who is writing the screenplay for the remake of the classic Dam Busters movie, has announced that to avoid controversy, the name of the squadron's dog will be changed from the 'N-word' to 'Cuntface', it was announced yesterday.
It has long been considered embarrassing that the mascot of RAF 617 squadron was named using racist vernacular. The fact that the original 1955 film retained this name for the dog character has led to it scarcely, if ever, being screened in America, and plans for a long-overdue remake foundered for years on the thorny question of how to include the animal without offending viewers.
"People are very concerned about maintaining historical integrity," explained Fry this morning, "But say what you like, you just can't have a modern movie shown in the US with a dog called the N-word. I decided that 'Cuntface' had the right melange of wit and edginess, and so 'Cuntface' he became."
The 1955 movie, starring Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd, told the story of Barnes 'Felch' Wallis' struggle to develop the bomb and the subsequent raids on Nazi Germany - codenamed 'Operation Spitroast'.
"In the film," explained Fry, "You're constantly hearing wing commander Guy 'Anal' Gibson shouting 'N-word, N-word, N-word, hurray' and punching the air. I believe that modern audiences will scarcely notice the change. Cuntface, Cuntface, Cuntface hurray! There's something very English there."
Not all reaction to the news has been positive - some sections of the Arts media have been critical of Fry's naming choice, a response he admits to finding hard to understand. When asked what his reply would be to his critics, he explained thoughtfully: "I would suggest that they suck on my big hairy cock."