Bernie Ecclestone, the former head of Formula One, appeared on Good Morning Britain this morning. It's unclear why the 91-year old billionaire was a guest on the show in the first place, but he took the opportunity to defend his longtime friend Vladimir Putin who he described as a "first class person" who he would "still take a bullet for."
As far as bananas live television interviews go, this one is right up there. Anchor Kate Garaway asked a simple question about whether Ecclestone still regards Putin as a friend and then just sat back and let him him work. For the better part of a minute Garaway and Ben Shepard just bit their tongue while Ecclestone called the invasion of Ukraine a "mistake," and put the blame for the war on Volodymyr Zelenskyy. When the anchors finally did push back, Ecclestone said that the invasion was not intentional and dropped some whataboutism about America's love of war.
The anchors looked shocked to not just hear someone say these things out loud, but into a camera knowing it was being broadcast live on TV. Not the kind of thing people usually call in from the picturesque cliffs of Ibiza to discuss on a Thursday morning.
Ecclestone, who the Internet lists as 5-foot-3, is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Formula One Group. He is currently listed as the F1 "chairman emeritus." He's previously commended Adolph Hitler for his ability to get things done.