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Eddie Jordan And Michael Fassbender Got In Hot Water With BBC For Speaking Irish On-Air

Eddie Jordan And Michael Fassbender Got In Hot Water With BBC For Speaking Irish On-Air
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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Eddie Jordan is known to F1 fans not only for his 15 year tenure as team principal of his own team during the 1990s and 2000s, but also more recently as a colourful member of the sport's media.

The duo of Jordan and former F1 driver David Coulthard made for brilliant viewing as BBC F1 pundits during the broadcaster's last time showing the sport between 2009 and 2015, and the pair set up the "Formula for Success" podcast earlier this year to discuss all things Formula 1.


It made for excellent listening, with high-profile guests such as Keith Wood, Liam Cunningham, and Damon Hill dropping by as the 2023 F1 season progressed.

On the first episode, Jordan shared a brilliant story about getting in hot water with the BBC's producers for speaking Irish on air with Michael Fassbender.

Eddie Jordan on his 'As Gaeilge' chat with Michael Fassbender

Eddie Jordan brought Ireland to the forefront Formula 1 for 15 years as team principal of his eponymous Jordan team between 1991 and 2005. The team achieved amazing success during their time in the sport, winning four races and finishing third in the 1999 world championship - and caused a boom in interest in the sport on these shores.

Jordan would move on to television duties after his team was sold at the end of the 2005 season, and continued to bring an Irish flavour to his broadcasts with the BBC.


Speaking on the first episode of Formula for Success earlier this year, Jordan recalled meeting Michael Fassbender on the grid ahead of the 2013 Canadian Grand Prix. Jordan said that he would end up in hot water with the BBC producers for speaking Irish during his live-on-air interview with Fassbender:

Michael - even with such a strong German name - was actually brought up and educated in Kerry in Ireland. He's a fluent Irish speaker.

I remember going on the pitwalk in Montreal, and I started to speak as Gaeilge to Michael, as I normally would have done. Mark Wilkin from the BBC went absolutely ballistic asking what I was doing speaking a foreign language on the great BBC?! I said, 'oh, get stuffed' - or whatever I said.

Fassbender tells this story to everyone, because it was kind of unique that someone would just use the Irish language.

You can't imagine how involved he is in Formula 1.

Footage of the interview exists on YouTube and, though the Irish element of the interview does not extend far beyond the pair greeting each other, Jordan jokes to the camera about audiences likely being perplexed as to what they are saying.


Fassbender is a well-known petrol head, racing in last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans - where he suffered a scary high-speed crash. Eddie Jordan teased an appearance by Fassbender later in the episode but, ultimately, said that the X-Men actor's cameo would have to wait until another day.

Eddie Jordan also revealed on that episode that he had battled with a diagnosis of skin cancer last winter, and had successfully had the illness treated:


I did have a little issue at the beginning of the winter time. I had a malignant melanoma which had to get cut out and that did take me by surprise, I must admit. This is a little message for all of our listeners out there - please be mindful of your body, it's important that you put the effort back into it.

Wise words from Jordan, and we wish him good health.

SEE ALSO: Sex Pistols And Schumacher: Peter Collins On A Crazy Decade Covering F1

Peter Collins RTE F1

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