The Stig is a mythical creature. Some say that he is the only man in history to buy a DFS sofa when there wasn’t a sale on, and that he stores all of his shoes and his cassette tapes on the motorway central reservation. All we know is he’s called The Stig, and after the 2011 ‘unmasking’ of the eponymous white-robed driver as former BTCC, GT3 and Le Mans racer, Ben Collins, many have been guessing who his replacement is. Thus far, Top Gear have worked tirelessly at containing the true identity of the ‘new stig’ – and have done so very well indeed.
The rumour mill has been rife at various stages since the start of season 16 when the new Stig first took over; but none more so than this week, when social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter were alight with rumours that the new Stig’s identity had been discovered.
Last week, motoring Blog goliath Jalopnik wrote about the possibility that “the tame racing driver” was in fact BTCC legend Gordon ‘The Flash’ Sheddon. This started the rumour mill flowing, to the point where much of the automotive and general media assumed this word to be gospel, and instantaneously set the world alight with posts and articles about yet another Stig being unmasked.
However, after the furore of the previous Stig’s departure, some commentators say the BBC have got around the problem of finding out the Stig’s one true identity by a very simple method: multiple stigs. Matt Hardigree of Jalopnik states:
“Remember, the Top Gear producers aren’t dumb. They’re the opposite of dumb. They’ve done what no one else has been able to do: Make everyone care about cars.
What we’re hearing from people familiar with the series and other journos is that Top Gear has been playing a shell game with The Stig in an attempt to confuse us and give them ultimate deniability.”
And he makes a fairly good argument. Jeremy Clarkson has a vested interest in not allowing a “silly tw*t” to unveil his/her identity again, having share ownership of the Top Gear franchise inclusive of merchandise (sales of which the Stig inevitably contributes to) and television rights, so he for one will be keen to keep this Stig’s identity under wraps – couple this with the BBC’s need to keep this mythical creature mythical and it’s a safe bet to assume there’s more than one Stig. Who knows, perhaps they’ve been breeding Super-Stigs!
Either way, Sheddon might be one of many to don the most famous white racing suit in the world – then again, he might not be…
Here’s some of our favourite Stig quotes:
• “Some say he never blinks, and that he roams around the woods at night foraging for wolves. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”
• “Some say he’s wanted by the CIA and that he sleeps upside down like a Bat. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”
• “Some say that he lives in a tree, and that his sweat can be used to clean precious metals. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”
• “Some say that he sucks the moisture from ducks, and that his crash helmet is modeled on Britney Spears’ head. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”
• “Some say that after making love he bites the head off his partner, and that he’s had to give up binge drinking now that it’s got to £1.18 a litre. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”
Source: Wheelwright Blog