John Inverdale's C-word slip gives BBC listeners an earful

Inverdale joins an exclusive club of presenters who have inadvertently befouled the airwaves

John Inverdale
(Image credit: 2012 Getty Images)

Listeners to BBC Radio Five Live's coverage of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday got more than they bargained for during an interview featuring presenter John Inverdale, former jockey John Francome and current rider Lizzie Kelly.

Having listened to Francome ruminate on life as a jockey in his era – "You get wet, you're mucking out and it's hard work" – Inverdale declared: "This is looking at it through rose-c***ed … rose-tinted glasses from the past."

As Francome guffawed in amazement, Inverdale quickly corrected himself, stammering: "[I] apologise there for a slip of the tongue, but Lizzie, your love of the sport just shines through."

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Kelly, to her credit, hardly skipped a beat in answering enthusiastically in the affirmative, and Inverdale, trouper that he is, managed to finish the broadcast without further expletives.

A BBC spokesman later brushed off the faux-pas, explaining: "It was a slip of the tongue and John apologised immediately afterwards."

Inverdale has previous when it comes to assaulting the airwaves. During the 2013 Wimbledon tennis championships he outraged viewers by declaring that ladies' champion Marion Bartoli "was never going to be a looker". As a punishment Five Live replaced him with Clare Balding as its lead presenter for last year's tournament.

Other than Inverdale's invective, the first day of the Cheltenham Festival was notable for Faugheen's victory in the Champion Hurdle.

Ridden by Ruby Walsh, the seven-year-old race favourite led home Arctic Fire and Hurricane Fly, making it a glorious one-two-three for trainer Willie Mullins. That meant there was no fairytale finish for AP McCoy, riding in his last Champion Hurdle, as he came home in fourth on Jezki.

"Faugheen is an incredible little horse," said Walsh, who also won the Novices Hurdle by four-and-a-half lengths on 2-1 favourite Douvan. Two more horses from Mullins' stable won races on the first day of the festival, to leave the 58-year-old Irishman delighted. "It's unbelievable to have four winners in one day," he exclaimed. "I keep thinking this is not real and it won't last forever, so I'm going to enjoy it now."

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