New Revelations about The Stig

I’ve always thought that the Stig must have been played by at least a few different people over the years.  I thought my idea was shot-down when the Stig was found out to be Ben Collins.  The way many of the articles were written, it sounded like he is and always has been the Stig all of the time.  But now …


Top Gear’s The Stig ‘played by eight drivers’

There has been frenzied speculation about the true identity of the character since he was named in press reports as 33-year-old Bristol-based Le Mans racer and stuntman Ben Collins.

Last week it was claimed that he is played by four different men, but the Daily Mail now claims to have has tracked down no fewer than eight drivers who have slipped into the white racing overalls.

They include 27-year-old Heikki Kovalainen, who partners F1 world champion Hamilton for the McLaren-Mercedes team. The Finn stood in as The Stig to test drive a Renault F1 car in 2004, according to the newspaper.

Other Stigs include Chris Goodwin, 41, a former GT world championship racing driver, and Julian Bailey, 47, a former Tyrell and Lotus F1 driver, both from London.

Two experienced stunt drivers – Terry Grant from Bushey in Hertfordshire and Russ Swift – have also donned helmet for the popular BBC Two motoring show.

And Dan Lang, a Swedish snowmobile racing champion, played The Stig in a stunt where he jumped a snowmobile off a ski jump, it is alleged.

The newspaper claims it tracked down the drivers based on information provided by the eighth Stig, who they identified only as Will. He was the man who appeared as the character at the National Television Awards last year.

The BBC refuses to comment on speculation about the identity of the anonymous driver, but the paper quoted a show source as saying: “Since the Stig first drove on the show, it has never been practical to have one single driver taking care of all the Stig’s many commitments.”


I love what James May has said about it all:

“So what good is served by telling them that this man – if that’s what he is – is just some bloke from Bristol?” said May. “It’s an absurd notion anyway. I’m from Bristol.”

He said it was no use trying to think of The Stig as real person, any more than imagining that Dr Who or the Tardis were real.

“There’s not much point in kidding yourself that The Stig is some sort of superhuman entity from another planet,” he has written in his weekly column for The Telegraph’s Motoring section.

“Life’s not like that. Face it – The Stig is just a man in some racing overalls and a crash helmet. He’s been around to my house and the strange electromagnetic radiation he emits made all the clocks go wrong.

“Attempts to unmask him so far have been laughably erratic and in many cases easy victim to some of the red herrings we deliberately put out, which is all the more laughable when you realise how easy it is to work out who The Stig really is.”


And this is what Jeremy Clarkson said:

“Writing in The Sun on Saturday Clarkson criticised the fact that The Stig’s name had apparently been revealed and said it had “spoiled everyone’s fun”.

He added that speculation had become so intense that “even Top Gear researchers are being followed by the paparazzi.”

He wrote: “I’ve decided it’s time to come clean. For still photographs, there are indeed many Stigs. But there is only one who is ever allowed to drive round the track.

“And – here goes – it’s the BBC royal reporter Nicholas Witchell. I know. I know. It’s a big surprise but there you are. And now you know, I’m afraid he will have to be dropped from a Hercules transport plane and killed.”

Clarkson, 48, dismissed the speculation over The Stig’s identity by further mocking the rumour-mongers.

He wrote: “They’re wrong. There is no single Stig. There are four. The main one is Damon Hill. It’s Tiff Needell.

“No it’s not. I’ve got a mate who knows for sure it’s Michael Schumacher.”


I didn’t want The Stig’s identity to be revealed, but now it has been (sort of) I’m kind of glad because of the speculation.  It’s all pretty funny, I think.

~ by vanityandpride on February 1, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: