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Top Gear Begins Damage Control, Claims “The Stig” Is 80-Year-Old Graham Hill

Posted in Auto Show, Car Reviews, Car Stunts, Car Tech, Cars, Newsworthy, Pop Culture, Racing, Scandal, Sports Cars, Street Racing, Stunts by Suzanne Denbow | January 22nd, 2009 | 7 Responses |

In the wake of 33-year-old Ben Collins’ scandalous outing of himself as Top Gear’s famously anonymous “White Stig,” the BBC is now directly violating their self-imposed vow of secrecy to reveal the “real” Stig: 80-year-old Norman Graham Hill. According to his biography, Graham Hill was a successful British racer in his prime, managing to win two Formula One World Championships as well as the Triple Crown of Motorsport. A little later in his vignette, it is also revealed that Graham Hill died in 1975.

In order to explain this slight hole in their story, the official Top Gear blog offers a ridiculous, just-shy-of-amusing, explanation.

From the official Top Gear blog:

In an alleged plot believed to have cost the license payer millions of pounds, BBC bosses apparently helped Graham Hill fake his own death in a plane crash.

According to Mole sources, the BBC knew as far back as 1974 that one day they’d hire Jeremy Clarkson to front their motoring show which didn’t exist yet, and that Jeremy would probably go to a school where they called new boys “Stigs”, and that in 2002 he’d probably invent an anonymous racing driver and probably give him that same name.

So they approached Graham Hill, whose professional driving career was over at that point, and asked him to crash a plane and then hide in a bush until he got the call from the Top Gear team 20 odd years later,” said a BBC insider.

He added: “The BBC does make a mess of some things but they’re pretty good at forward planning.”

Our theory: the sudden death of an 80-year-old Stig is a lot easier to write into the plot than the sudden death of a 33-year-old, able-bodied one. So congratulations, Ben Collins, you’ve successfully screwed yourself out of the sweetest gig you’ll ever land.

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7 Responses

  1. Sticker boy says:

    If they changed the Stig, how would we know?

  2. Maybe “White Stig” was former Shelby-American development engineer and race driver Ken Miles. Some folks think he didn’t actually die, of head injuries, when testing a variant of the Ford GT-40 in 1966.

    In 2003, Brock Yates reported in Car and Driver, that a retired detective had found someone claiming to be a “former racecar driver” who looked a lot like the late (??) Ken Miles, trundling around Wisconsin in an equally aged station wagon; yet driving the stawag in the manner one would expect a retired racer to do. There was even a photo of this man, looking like a computer generated image of how Ken Miles might have aged, dressed in jeans and a lumberjack shirt.

    However, when Brock Yates tried to track the man down, he had moved to Florida and his fate was unknown. Call it the automotive equivalent of the X-Files.

  3. Top Gear Fan says:

    What’s the big infatuation with wanting to know who The Stig is?

    Why can’t people just leave this alone and let the mystery be there. It’s more fun not knowing who the person is, while thinking that maybe when The Stig blinks it sounds like a camera.

    To all journalists: Please just leave this mystery be.

  4. David says:

    Firstly, you called him Ben Hill instead of Ben Collins in the first line of the article.
    Secondly, Collins didn’t out himself, he was outed by a newspaper, maybe you should do a bit more research before writing articles…


  5. Robbert says:

    My guess: David Coulthard…………;-)

  6. asutur says:

    stig i like you!

  7. STIG says:

    I saw him at Laguna Seca in August 09 and Pebble Beach on Sunday… then in Sept he appeared at the Danville d’Elegance… we have photo proof! My guess in a long time racer named Mike Green!