I know many of you thought that F1B’s Paul Charsley was actually Top Gear’s enigmatic “tame racing driver”, The Stig but that’s not the case. It isn’t SJ Skid or Mark Hallam either. No, it seems the Mail Online thinks it’s none other than professional driver and stunt double Ben Collins. Although I think we’ve all known that for some time now haven’t we or are we just speculating like this story is?
It came up again after the Daily Mail revealed The Stig was having legal issues with the BBC over plans to reveal his identity in an autobiography. It seems now that there are financial documents from Ben Collins company that may shed some light, if not speculation, as to who The Stig is. From the Mail:
The clue to his identity emerges in the accounts of his company, Collins Autosport.
It recorded a ‘cornerstone year’ in December 2003, a month after the white-clad Stig’s first appearance on TV.
This was partly down to ‘driving services provided for the BBC, mainly in the Top Gear programme’, the accounts said.
Directors noted the work offered ‘good long-term prospects for continuing income,’ the Sunday Times reported.
The BBC were quick to suggest that these documents don’t mean a thing and that we are all barking up the wrong tree.
A BBC spokesman said: ‘It’s no surprise that Ben Collins’s company accounts show that he was driving for Top Gear as he has appeared on the programme as himself, for exam-example in the Mitsubishi evo challenge.
‘Ben supplies his services as a driver himself and his company also supplies other drivers.
‘There is nothing to be read into these company documents.’
I recall the Ben Collins speculation several months ago but now the Mail Online feels it is pretty much summed up. Of course I could suggest that this is all speculation and tabloid guesswork but where’s the fun in that? After all, it has to be true because this story is right next to such moving pieces like Mel Gibson’s former lover and bisexual Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer secretly tie the knot. So that’s Perry and Ben now who have not wanted to remain under wraps as The Stig.
To me the concept is great and to be honest, I really don’t care who The Stig is. The identity of who he is actually starts to detract from the overall genius that is Top Gear. Yes, it was a terrific idea for some time but now the show is epic on its own. In my opinion, they can replace The Stig with anyone they want at any time and it doesn’t really matter. The enigma that is The Stig is what is alluring for many who watch. It’s comical if not a bit dog-eared now.
I have some advice for the BBC:
Hire Paul Charsley as the new Stig. He’s a professional driver, fast, has driven all kinds of cars and would not mind wearing pink, blue or violet since black and white have already been taken. I am available for the role but even though I would be less expensive than Charsley, I would be much slower too so that may not work.
I hear that Luca Badoer, Marc Gene, Seb Bourdais, Christian Klien, Karun Chandhok may be available and if Michael Schumacher keeps this up, he may be as well. I’d go for Ant Davidson to be honest because Ant is a likable guy, speaks British and can fit in a Fed Ex overnight package. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Mika Hakkinen in the role because he can’t speak anyway so that would not be a problem as far as an autobiography etc. Then again, I’ve always been partial to the idea of getting Nelson Piquet Jr. because no one would be searching for his whereabouts.
There you have it, those are my suggestions. I left Grace out because she has a government job and that’s a job for life so that’s a no go. I also left off Mark Hallam because of the cloak-n-dagger nature of his work. You couldn’t find him to ask him. SJ Skid can only drive the hell out of a Mini so that’s a bit limiting but the one person who just may be up for the job is Laura Marieee. She’s quick, intelligent and looks better in a racing suit than Danica Patrick. Actually so does Paul but we try not to be enablers.