Top Gear

Some say… Gordon Shedden is The Stig

Gordon Shedden

Is this man the latest Stig? His name is Gordon Shedden and you may well have first heard of 34-year-old BTCC driver when we brought you news about the 210km/h Honda Mean Mower.

The mower was originally conceived by Top Gear magazine. Shedden has also appeared in the current series of the TV show after he won a World’s Best Taxi race in Episode 2. That’s enough for some to put one and one together and come up with “He must be The Stig!”

Supposedly Shedden has links to backroom staff at the show, as well as the main presenters Jeremy, Richard and James. That was enough for UK paper The Sunday Mail to front up and ask Shedden directly.

“I don’t think anyone can say that,” Shedden replied. “At the end of the day, it is just a person in a white suit. It’s more about the myth about Stig than who it is.

“It is like trying to find Santa Claus, isn’t it?”

If Shedden is The Stig he’ll do well to keep playing his cards close to his chest. Whoever the current Stig is, he only got the gig at the start of Series 16 after Ben Collins outed himself and was subsequently sacked.

[Source: Daily Record]

Top Gear

Top Gear drags Stig drama back to court

Ben Collins

A couple of months ago a UK court ruled in favour of Ben Collins, the man formerly known as The Stig, allowing him to publish his autobiography. Collins’ tale lifted the curtain on some of the mystique behind Top Gear and the BBC were not too impressed. Unhappy with that initial ruling the BBC are taking the case back to court.

Collins confirmed the new stoush a few days ago saying, “I’ve just had to do a load of witness statements for round two. As it stands they are pursuing me for breach of contract. So here we go again.”

The Beeb are adamant that Collins had revealed his identity well before the autobiography controversy broke. Collins, of course, denies that is the case, “I worked so hard to keep a lid on the whole thing and stay anonymous. I didn’t tell anybody what I did. I used to go to the locations wearing a balaclava in my civvy clothes, which was all my idea, I wasn’t told to do it.

“It seems ridiculous, the BBC stance. Even though they lost the first case they are pursuing me a second time, saying I was leaking my identity. It’s pretty hard to hear it and I’m pretty fed up with it.”

We can certainly understand the latter point, there. Based on recent comments from Jeremy Clarkson announcing a new Stig has been selected it looks like Collins will be the subject of countless passive aggressive attacks in future. What do you think, is Clarkson right to attack Collins’ integrity, or should he just suck it up and move on?


Top Gear

Top Gear’s new Stig looks just like the old one

Top Gear - New Stig

According to a new Top Gear video the picture above is the new Stig. He looks just like the old one; a marketing/merchandising decision, it would seem.

The latest Stig incarnation was revealed due to Top Gear Live commitments and, so far, the television show is remaining coy about the future of the new Stig making an appearance in Season 16.

Who are they kidding?

After the break you can see the video which was filmed on location at the Stig Farm, where the New Stig was supposedly created. It includes some not so subtle, and rather childish, digs at Ben Collins.


Top Gear

Happy as a Stig in mud

Stig farm

Following the Ben Collins fallout Top Gear are keen to promote the “discovery” of a new Stig farm as reported by The Sun. Apparently der neue Stig is due to be revealed next week when the latest Top Gear Live tour kicks off in London.

A BBC source has said, “Fans don’t know there is a secret farm where we breed lots of different Stigs. We’ve found just the one.”

It still hasn’t been confirmed if Stiggy in the middle will return to the Top Gear television show, but, it’s probably a good money bet to say he/she/it will. I guess we’ll know that when Season 16 starts early next year.

[Source: The Sun]

Top Gear

Jeremy Clarkson talks about the Ben Collins fallout

Jeremy Clarkson

As well all know Ben Collins was The Stig. The fallout from Collins’ decision to out himself has been massive. For one it’s cost him his job. But it also looks like it has cost him a few friendships, as well.

Jeremy Clarkson was interviewed by internet-only TV station WitneyTV. It’s a low budget community-based outfit covering news in the West Oxfordshire region of England. Now, though, they are reaching a worldwide audience.

Here’s a few quotes from the interview:

“It was a shock. It was horrible, actually. I liked him. He came around to my house, and had drinks, and all that time he was writing a book.”

“TopGear is damaged, but not out.”

“If you’re watching this children, greed is bad.”

“Put it this way, he’s history, as far as we’re concerned. He’s sacked.”

You can see a trailer for the interview after the break, or follow this link for the full interview (Episode #17, fast forward to the 27 minute mark).

[Thanks to Richard for the tip]

Top Gear

Some say… The Stig has been sacked

The Stig

Following last week’s news confirming the Ben Collins is The Stig theory comes today’s revelation that Collins has been sacked by the BBC. Proving that the Beeb doesn’t muck around it’s also been reported that a new Stig has already been employed.

According to UK newspaper The Mirror a new man in white was seen working for Top Gear at the Nürburgring as recently as last Friday.

The whole story erupted on 19 August when it became apparent the man in white wanted to out himself in an autobiography to be published by HarperCollins. The book is due for release in mid September and the BBC is continuing to fight in the British courts to have the autobiography suppressed.

Speaking on the Top Gear website Executive Producer Andy Wilman said, “So on Monday there I was, dressed like somebody who works behind the till at NatWest, having to listen to people from HarperCollins telling me that they have the right to reveal who the Stig is.

“Well actually, that’s tosh. The whole point of the Stig is the mystique – the bizarre characteristics he has, the wonderment created about what he might think, feel, do or look like. Kids adore the conceit, and I believe adults, although they know it’s a man in a suit (or is it?), gladly buy into the whole conceit because they find it entertaining.”


Top Gear

Some say… The Stig is Ben Collins

Ben Collins

Media reports from around the globe are reviving old rumours that Ben Collins is The Stig. Speculation on the true identity of the famous Top Gear test driver was thrown into the spotlight last week when it was revealed the man inside the white race suit wanted to out himself, only to be silenced by BBC lawyers.

Now it would appear others have done the dirty work for him. Details from the financial records of Collins Autosport were published in The Sunday Times on the weekend and revealed a sharp boost in income back in 2003 for “driving services provided for the BBC, mainly in the Top Gear programme.”

The timing is in line with the Black Stig’s replacement, following the revelation that former F1 driver Perry McCarthy was the original Stig. McCarthy is understood to have been sacked by the BBC once he revealed his true identity in his autobiography Flat out, flat broke.

Rumours of Collins’ identity first emerged following Richard Hammond’s serious crash in September 2006 when he was named in the accident report.

A tradesman also shed light on the matter some time back after doing some work at Collins’ house and seeing The Stig’s driving suit and gloves hanging up inside the home in a display cabinet.

It has been reported The Stig earns up to AU$17,000 per episode for his services to Top Gear. However, the unconfirmed driver is believed to want a larger slice of the revenue derived by Stig merchandising sold by the BBC.

[Source: Telegraph | Pic: Collins Autosport | Thanks to Sean for the tip]

Top Gear

Some say… he thinks lawyers are the devil incarnate

The Stig

Kids, sit down, I have something to tell you. Santa Claus isn’t real. The Easter Bunny? No, nope real, either. The Tooth Fairy is a fraud, too. You may not be surprised to learn, then, that some say The Stig is not real; that he is just a person like you and me.

And it turns out The Stig himself actually thinks this is the case as well. But the lawyers at the BBC are in denial. Massive denial. And it is understood the situation is fast approaching breakig point. You see The Stig, well, the person inside the The Stig, wants to write his autobiography. Naturally, he reckons he might snag a few book sales if he comes out and says, “Hey, you’ll never guess what. I am The Stig!”

I reckon he’d be right, too. But the BBC silks don’t think so. They’re threatening legal action and pointing out The Stig is contractually obliged to keep mum about his identity. Supposedly a handful of BBC execs and the three hosts—Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May—are the only people who know The Stig’s true identity. Although, there are some reasonably well accepted theories as to who he might be.

Some say the irony of an organisation with the initials B and C in it preventing The Stig from revealing his true identity is a bit cute.

[Source: Daily Mail]

News Top Gear

Gran Turismo 5 launch date – 2 November 2010

GT5 - 2 November 2010

The makers of GT5 have finally announced a release date for their new gaming epic. North American buyers can get their hands on GT5 from 2 November 2010. Dates for other markets are yet to be announced.

It’s been almost six years since the release of GT4 so the new version is not only eagerly awaited, but well overdue. The Gran Turismo name fell from the top of most people’s must-have games list a long time ago. Will GT5 restore the title’s credibility?

After the break is a two minute teaser – featuring The Stig on the Top Gear test track – that gives us an idea of what to expect.

Top Gear

Some say his best friend is “Nessie”…

The Stig at Loch Ness

Another random Google Street View sighting of The Stig. Last year he was spotted at an office block in Hammersmith. Now, he has been spotted on the shores of Loch Ness in Scotland. While that first spotting might have had some legitimacy, given the office block is supposedly the Top Gear offices, I dare say his latest messing with “Nessie” is a well executed prank.

Playing around with the Google Street View sighting you can see it looks like The Stig made his own way there, either by Honda Civic Type R or a Vauxhall Astra. Let’s hope it was the Civic, hey. Whoever is responsible, fair play, it’s a great gag.

[Source: Final Gear]

Top Gear

On that bombshell

Top Gear LIVE in Sydney 5-8 February

A quick reminder that Top Gear LIVE makes it Australian premiere this Thursday. Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond will be headlining the show. Its a bit of a shame that James May can’t make it, though.

The Australian season runs from 5-8 February, with all shows taking place at Sydney’s Acer Arena. Also, another reminder that the news conference with Jeremy and Richard discussing their world tour, posted back in November is still online, click here if you’d like to watch it.

There’s a bit of banter about the show on as well.

I’ll be there (thanks Mum), maybe I’ll see you there too.

Top Gear

Lightning have released some viral ads promoting their website. Most of them are a bit “meh”, but this one is quite good. Would be nice if they allowed embedding of clips that weren’t just free ads though.