Recently, Ask.com revealed their 9th most asked question overall is this: “Who is the Stig?”
In the name of fun, The Chive would like to address the myriad conspiracies circulating this hotly debated topic and try to answer the question, who is Stiggy?
A Little History
The first Stig (nearly named ‘The Gimp’) was an F1 driver named Perry McCarthy. McCarthy was the Black Stig through the first two season of the re-release of Top Gear. Eventually Perry tired of the anonymity, outed himself in his memoirs, and was ceremoniously killed by driving himself off the HMS Invincible Aircraft Carrier in a nitrous powered Jaguar.
McCarthy was replaced by the White Stig we know today. This is where the speculation frenzy begins.
Feb 4, 2008
Comedian Omid Djalili appeared on ‘Star in a reasonably priced car’ segment insisted that the Stig is actually McLaren’s star pilot Lewis Hamilton based on conversations he had with The Stig.
To combat the rumors, this face-off photo was taken shortly thereafter ‘proving’ Hamilton is not the Stig.
Feb 22nd, 2008
A camera flash penetrated The Stig’s crash helmet at a London promotion sparking an eye-off. Many said the eyes belong to British racer Ben Collins. Collins was also listed as Top Gear’s ‘High Performance Driver’ in the accident report filed after Richard Hammond’s famous Vampire Accident.
One commenter on Autoblog countered that, “Ben’s schedule is too hectic for him to be the Stig.”
Another commenter on the popular social bookmarking site Digg.com said, “I’m a bit dissappointed to learn The Stig has eyes at all.”
May 22, 2008
A camera-weilding Dutch fanboy made waves by taking these photos of a helmetless man in a white jump suit while Top Gear filmed on location. The man pictured is Volkswagen Polo racer Tim Schrick.
Dec 3rd 2008,
The Guardian recently reported that F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen took up the role during a Top Gear testing at Renault’s base.
Seemingly, the most popular theory is that the Stig is a small collection of people, like Santa at a mall. The theory is that Top Gear uses a few top racers which keeps the audience constantly guessing.
As recently as Dec 14th, a group of Scouts honored the Stig as a part of the Scouts 101st anniversary. The Stig never removed his helmet once despite 30 degree temperatures. Top Gear released a statement from the event,
“The Team would also like to commend the two scouts who were attacked by The Stig during the presentation ceremony for displaying such ingenuity and courage.”
In closing, I met a bloke at a bar once who said, “I’m better off not knowing and pretending it’s me.”
In an odd way, my bar buddy isn’t far off. The Stig is a mysterious superhero of sorts. Shrouded in secrecy, lightning fast, he even rescues three bumbling Brits when they’re in need of help.
And so it goes. Our search to place a mortal name on the myth has fallen short. All we know is….he’s called The Stig.