The Telegraph have reported that the mysterious Top Gear test driver The Stig has been ‘outed’ as professional stuntman and Le Mans racing driver Ben Collins.
The Stig has been an integral part of the BBC’s Top Gear for years and the identity of of the white suited driver has been a closely guarded secret, but it appears that Collins let the cat out of the bag to staff at a gallery in Bristol.
Ben, who’s previously competed in many prestigious races such as Formula Three, Le Mans, NASCAR and GT, made the slip up when he asked staff to help him with a limited-edition print of The Stig.
The gallery’s owner Simon Whitehead is quoted in the paper as saying: “I was absolutely amazed when he said he was The Stig, it was quite a big thing in a weird way.”
I know exactly what he means! It’s like when you found out Father Christmas wasn’t real; it’s the end of an era.
It’s not the first time that Ben has been rumoured to be The Stig; last time, it was builder Jason Goody who reported that Ben was The Stig as he’d discovered the trademark gloves and suit that The Stig wears in a cabinet at Ben’s home.
Fans of Top Gear have been working on identifying The Stig too and recently, a video showed up on YouTube which depicted The Stig – in full Stig get-up – speaking with a Bristol accent. They then compared it to Ben Collins’ voice and the similarity was unmistakable.
Ben has always denied that he’s The Stig and could face the boot from the show if he’s found out…
The show’s first Stig, stunt driver Perry McCarthy, was sacked after he told the secret in his book Flat Out, Flat Broke, in 2002.
Perry was known as The Black Stig and always wore a trademark black suit, gloves and helmet before he left the show in 2003.
As to this latest revelation, a Top Gear spokesman told the paper: “We never comment on speculation as to who or what The Stig is.”
So is this the end of The White Stig? Guess we’ll have to wait and see but I bet Ben’s kicking himself all round his living room today!