Matt Butler: Eddie and Suzi, the newest odd couple of the F1 soap

View From The Sofa: Chinese GP/FA Cup BBC 1/ITV

The world was watching. There had been weeks of build-up and talk. Two volatile personalities, thrown together as part of a team in a ruthless, money-driven industry, were about to be shown together on live television. Just how would they interact?

As it happens, Suzi Perry and Eddie Jordan got along just fine. Perry, the new face of BBC's Formula One coverage, was enjoying her first live build-up in Jake Humphrey's place, along with Jordan and David Coulthard. And in the beginning, little seemed different. Sure, the jeans were a little tighter-fitting, but whatever Coulthard feels comfortable in is fine, we must presume.

Perry had had a couple of dress rehearsals in fronting the Beeb's highlights package in the previous two races of the season, but the hour-long live build-up is something else entirely. And it was credit to Humphrey that he made filling an hour of airtime with informative chat look so darn easy every time.

Perry's delivery wasn't quite as smooth – she took a couple of goes to get "pit lane" out at one stage – but she has clearly been welcomed into the fold by Coulthard and Jordan.

She seemed a little nervous in the beginning – a few words fell over each other as she tried to divulge all she could in the least time possible about the Red Bull feud between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber – but apart from the initial stutters, the threesome worked well. Even when they walked down the pit lane, while it sounded like Iron Man was being taken apart in the background, the talk was seamless.

There was one moment – we always sensed there would be one – where Jordan tried a Carry On-style crack at casual sexism. As the trio huddled close to get Ross Brawn, the Mercedes team principal, into shot, Perry said: "Oh, I was wondering what you were doing, there, I thought you were going to give me a cuddle."

Cue Jordan's highly raised eyebrows and even higher raised voice. "We always can. Ross would fancy a bit of that, wouldn't he?" Perry and Brawn thankfully ignored him.

On the subject of frosty rebuffs, Adrian Chiles and Roy Keane, the dysfunctional, stuck-in-a-rut couple of ITV football, found some rare common ground during yesterday's FA Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Chelsea. In the half-time break Chiles opened the discussion by telling the assembled pundits that they had just witnessed a "breathless half of very English football". Keane, whose default facial expression is "disgruntled man told to make his own bloody tea" turned to Chiles with a filthy look before checking himself; it was as if he had fully intended to berate his host before listening to what he had actually said.

Then he nodded. Begrudgingly, but still. It was what marriage guidance counsellors would call "progress".

Chiles, clearly buoyed by getting scary Roy to agree with him, continued, peppering his words with phrases like "blood and thunder". "They are getting stuck in, getting on with it. It has shades of Chelsea v Leeds, 1970," Chiles enthused. Or, if he were braver, Manchester United v Arsenal, any time Keane was playing.

Keane nodded again. But, as it often is with couples that don't get along, he had to have the last word. And it was about Chelsea's defending. "You have to smell the danger," he said. Words Perry and Chiles would do well to heed.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions