Posted on 2010-12-29. By anonymous.
The Stig is responsible for setting lap times for cars tested on the show, as well as instructing celebrity guests in the show's Star in a Reasonably Priced Car section. Several episodes have featured comic variations on the Stig character, referred to by the presenters as 'The Stig's cousin'. The Stig character originally wore a black helmet and overalls, but he was killed off in the first episode of series 3, to be replaced in the next episode by a new Stig, wearing white helmet and overalls. This character has featured ever since.
The BBC have always refused to officially confirm the identity of the actor who plays the Stig. "Who is The Stig?" became a frequently asked question on the internet. The identity of the original 'Black' Stig, Perry McCarthy, was exposed by a Sunday newspaper after the first series of the show, in January 2003. McCarthy confirmed that he was 'The Stig' in the second edition of his autobiography, published following series two, and is now generally acknowledged as having been the first Stig, even by BBC media.
A number of press reports have claimed to name the White Stig, including, in January 2009, several naming Ben Collins. In June 2009 the show played up to the speculation by promising to reveal The Stig's identity, which turned out to be a joke involving former F1 champion Michael Schumacher. In August 2010 the BBC attempted to gain an injunction against Harper Collins to prevent the publication of The Man in the White Suit, the autobiography of the driver playing The Stig. Collins appeared in the High Court as part of the action, which the BBC lost, revealing Collins as the author of the book. The BBC have still refused to confirm whether Collins "either was or remains" the Stig, while presenter James May has stated White Stig will be killed off and replaced for the next series.
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