"You're frightened about what Roy said to you in Burnley!" 6 months ago

"You're frightened about what Roy said to you in Burnley!"

What is it about Roy Keane?

There are vocal fears amongst some young journalists about a Roy Keane interview.  You'd see some of the finest potential in the media coming through, taking on big stories, creating content that has the country talking but, when it comes to Roy Keane, it's just different.

They still haven't asked him a question, they'd tell you. They still get nervous in his presence. You don't want to cross Roy Keane and you don't want to be on the end of what they call a verbal broadside.

Maybe it's because so many people grew up idolising the best footballer Ireland has produced in the last two generations and obviously he can be spiky about certain questions too but, unlike with other difficult interviewees, people will shirk the responsibility for fear of The Stare, or of receiving a response that might rouse a laugh out of everyone else in the room.

For some reason, the prospect of upsetting Roy Keane has always held a bigger stake.

Alastair Campbell is a successful man. He's worked in government, he's published numerous books, he's befriended Alex Ferguson but Roy Keane, 14 years his junior, can still put the brakes on him.

The Cambridge graduate sat for an hour and a quarter with Dion Fanning for an intriguing episode of Ireland Unfiltered. He spoke about Brexit, about death about everything and anything but, when the question of Roy Keane was broached, he deliberated.

Alastair Campbell: He had a little go at me in Burnley recently.

Dion Fanning: Did he? About what?

AC: I'm not telling you.

DF: Go on.

AC: I'll tell you exactly what it was, it was because he saw that I had talked about a previous conversation on television. And he said, 'is this one going to appear on television?' So there you go, Roy. He said, 'does nothing stay private?' I do like him though, he's a great bloke. I have a real admiration for him. And what a player.

DF: Ferguson and Keane: do you think they'll reconcile?

AC: I have no idea. You'll have to ask them yourself.

DF: You're blocking up on this! You're frightened about what Roy said to you in Burnley! You've talked about everything...

AC: I'm not talking about this. I'm not talking about you and Fergie, Roy. I promise.

All a bit of craic but, still, another example of the mystique of Roy Keane. Like the teacher in school you know to never cross - you don't know why, but you just know.

Even for someone like Alastair Campbell, you approach the Keane subject with caution.

Listen to the full Keane and Ferguson chat from 1:02:24 below.

Ireland Unfiltered, brought to you in partnership with Carlsberg Unfiltered, will be available everywhere you get your podcasts and on YouTube every Tuesday.