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Meet your TG TV presenters: Q&A with Eddie Jordan

TG talks to the former F1 team owner and TV pundit...

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What’s your first car memory?

Slipping up the Dublin mountain in my dad’s Morris 1000. We all had to get out and push. There was smoke billowing out of it, but we were just so proud of it.

Who taught you to drive, in what… and did you pass first time?

My dad taught me how to drive in our Anglia 1200. I didn’t pass first time, I was going too fast, and I had to do it again.

Tell us about your best car…

I had a little Mini 1000 – a Mini Cooper. I lowered the suspension and put it on little magnesium wheels. It also had a small leather steering wheel, a bucket seat for me and a straight-through exhaust. I loved it.

Tell us about your worst car…

A Saab 99. It didn’t have a brake pedal as such, it had a little ball, and if you put your foot on the ball, it slowed. It was the most ridiculous thing ever.

And what is your current daily car?

A 235i BMW. I love it.

What’s the car you most wish you’d owned?

The car that I’ve always wanted to own was a thing called a Borgward Isabella. It’s gorgeous, so stylish, so sexy.

What was the best drive of your life, and why was it so special?

It was on the Circuit of Ireland Rally in Kerry. It’s memorable because I stopped in a lay-by and asked an 18-year-old girl to marry me… and she did. I’m still married to her 38 years later.

What’s your favourite road?

The Tyrrellspass is one of the all time classics. It’s just fantastic.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in a car?

When I was 14, I nicked the car keys out of my dad’s pocket and took our Anglia 1200 out for a spin to Powerscourt, near Bray. I hit the kerb, went into the bank and put the car on its side.

What’s your favourite sitcom? 

There’s only one: Mrs Brown’s Boys.

Favourite band?

The E Street Band, providing Bruce Springsteen is playing with them.

If you could buy just one car to last the rest of your life, what would it be?

Actually, I adore my little 235i, I think it’s the greatest car I’ve ever had.

Who’s your all-time favourite Formula One driver?

Totally biased. Ayrton Senna by a mile. He was just an awesome character – calm, very kind and warm.

What car are you most looking forward to driving on TG?

I’d love to drive the six-wheeler Tyrrell or the Brabham Fan Car – they have huge interest for me. They broke new ground.

Who will be quickest around the TopGear track?

Sabine.

Who would be your dream guest for the next series of TopGear?

Well, because we could have the craíc with him and I think he’s cool – Bono.

What’s in your rider?

I like jelly beans and Snickers – nothing too special. Maybe a bit of fruit.

What motorsport event would you most like to compete in?

I’ve already done Le Mans with Pink Floyd. I was driving a 908 twin-turbo Porsche, which was the most awesome thing. Le Mans is quite a special thing, especially for us F1 guys. To compete there ticked the box for me.

Front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive?

I love the tail hanging out. It’s gotta be rear-wheel-drive every time.

What else do you have a licence for?

I’ve got an international boat licence up to 24 metres and 80 tonnes.

What’s your biggest fear?

Losing the brakes in a car. I broke both legs at Mallory Park when I went into the hairpin and discovered I had no brakes. 

What’s the fastest you’ve ever gone in a car and when?

Going down the Mulsanne Straight, I had to be doing over 200mph.

F1, NASCAR or WRC?

I’m biased. Formula One.

Who in history would you most like to have been driven by?

I was once driven by Ayrton Senna from the centre of São Paulo out to the airport. That was something special. He was an amazing man.

You have to drive from NYC to LA, you have four seats, who’s in the car with you, what’s on the iPod and what’s in the emergency snack cubby?

Well, it’s a long way, so I’d have to have people who had lots of stories. Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali and Prince Harry. And Bernie – he’s only small. On the iPod would be the Travelling Wilburys – Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and, of course, George [Harrison]. Also I’d have Oasis on my iPod and ‘Insomnia’ by Faithless just pumping away. Snacks? Non-sugar and non-gluten homemade fruitcake.

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