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The Stig is the name given to the anonymous racing driver on the BBC motoring show Top Gear. In the show he is cast as a mysterious "tame racing driver" whose identity is unknown, and who never speaks or removes his helmet on camera. Nonetheless he is fully credited as a presenter, albeit as "The Stig", alongside Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

The Stig's primary function on the show is to post lap times in various cars around the Top Gear circuit in Dunsfold Park, and to train each week's guest in setting a lap time in the Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car feature on the show. In addition the Stig carries out other driving duties when the need arises.

The Stig has also appeared on some of Jeremy Clarkson's motoring specials, such as Heaven and Hell and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, as well as on BBC's Whizz Whizz Bang Bang.

The Stig's name derives from presenter Jeremy Clarkson's days at Repton School. According to Clarkson, new students were always called "Stig." A proposed name for the Stig was originally "The Gimp" until protests from Perry McCarthy nixed the idea. There have been two official Stigs on the show, while various other Stigs have made cameo appearances for particular episodes.

Black Stig

The Stig (Series 1 & 2)The first Stig wore black overalls and helmet. It was introduced in the first episode of the current format by Jeremy Clarkson as the resident test driver, as the presenters could not consistently post fast times themselves.Clarkson noted that "we don't know its name, we really don't know its name, nobody knows its name, and we don't wanna know, cause it's a racing driver." Clarkson then described The Stig as having a very small brain, who had worthless opinions, a disorder described by Clarkson as "Mansell Syndrome". Its job description was to "just go out there and drive fast".

Black Stig posted a lap time of 1:46 for the Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car segment. This Stig was used for the first two series of the show. It was then "killed off" at the start of the third series when he was shown driving a modified Jaguar XJ-S off the flight deck of HMS Invincible during a stunt and landing in the sea.

White Stig
After the Black Stig was "killed off", a new "White Stig" was introduced, wearing white overalls and helmet.[5] White Stig has been featured in the show beyond just the Power Lap segment. His work has included driving cars in other segments of the show, for example finding a winner between the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, BMW M6 and Porsche 911 Carrera S on the Isle of Man, and racing against the hosts in a bid to see who would cross the starting line at a race track; White Stig driving a Caterham Seven kit car from Caterham, Surrey to Knockhill racetrack in Scotland against the hosts in assembling an identical car from the ground up.[7] In Series 10 The Stig was recruited to take public transport in the Cross London Challenge and had to deal with such tasks as riding a bus, using an Oyster Card and having to answer a mobile phone, but instead just stared at the ringing device.

White Stig has also appeared outside Top Gear in some of Clarkson's motoring specials, such as The Good, The Bad, The Ugly where Clarkson reviewed and compared American and non-American cars, and Heaven and Hell, where the Stig was used to compare the track times of the Chevrolet Corvette C6 and the TVR Sagaris, and raced Clarkson, in a BMW M5, with a Ferrari F430.

White Stig posted the fastest lap time of 1:44.4 around the Top Gear circuit for the Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car segment.

Cameo appearances
There have been three cameo appearances of other Stigs on the show.

Episode 3 of Series 9 was set in the United States, with the presenters purchasing American cars and driving them across four states while on holiday. One of the challenges set for the presenters was for the cars to set a lap time around a racetrack, for which "the Stig's American cousin" was introduced. Nicknamed "Big Stig" by the presenters, this Stig was overweight. However, he was skilled enough to record lap times for two of the cars, although he had trouble with Richard Hammond's pick-up truck due to weak brakes.

Episode 4 of Series 10 featured the presenters driving across Botswana. To test the performance of the three cars used by the presenters around a dirt rally track, Clarkson introduced "The Stig's African cousin." This incarnation of The Stig had black skin, wore only Puma shoes, a loincloth and the iconic white helmet. He set lap times for two of the cars, but walked away from the track when Clarkson's Lancia Beta failed to start. The others joked that African Stig was trying to get a respectable time, so didn't bother using the car as it was too slow.

Episode 10 of Series 10 featured the Stig on vacation in Spain. In scenes where the Stig was lounging around a swimming pool, a bikini-clad woman appeared in the background wearing a version of the Stig's racing helmet. This woman's connection to the Stig has yet to be revealed.

The Stig's fastest official lap time was 1 minute 17.3 seconds in an Ascari A10. Faster times had previously been posted in a Renault F1 car, an Aston Martin DBR9 and a Caparo T1, but none of these were deemed street-practical due to inability to navigate regulation UK speed bumps.

The Stig's true identity is never revealed on the show, and in order to maintain the secrecy, all shots show him wearing full racing overalls and matching helmet. All that can be seen from the gap between his helmet and jumpsuit is that he is a white male with dark hair. It is also known that he wears size 10 racing boots as discovered by the Sunday Times when the Driving section wrote an article about the show.

The identity of the first Stig was revealed to be Perry McCarthy when his book Flat Out, Flat Broke was published in 2003. McCarthy is a former Formula 1 driver and test driver for the Benetton, Arrows and Williams teams, and also tested for BMW F1.

The identity of the new Stig has not been officially revealed. In a Winter Olympics special episode of Top Gear, the Stig was shown doing a ski jump using a snowmobile. According to the Swedish tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet, the driver performing the ski jump stunt was Dan Lang, a Swedish snowmobile cross driver. In January 2006, a Daily Express article reported that Julian Bailey was the Stig. In January 2007, Russ Swift, a stunt driver who has appeared on the show a number of times, said in an interview that the Stig is not played by just one person.

Mark Webber with an "I AM THE STIG" T-shirt presented to him by Jeremy.The show has alluded to The Stig with Formula 1 drivers that visit the show. In the episode of June 26, 2005, Damon Hill appeared as the "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car". When asked directly by Clarkson if he was the Stig, Hill played on the fact that he may be The Stig but then denied it.Mark Webber was interviewed on July 31, 2005 and at the conclusion of his lap, Clarkson presented him with an "I AM THE STIG" T-shirt. Webber was then warned not to wear it around the F1 paddock, as "Michael doesn't always wear red".

When former F1 driver Nigel Mansell appeared on the show, Jeremy Clarkson noted that the Stig theorised that the Suzuki Liana (the show's "reasonably priced car" at the time) could achieve a 1:44 time on the track.[16] Mansell proved the Stig's theory by lapping in a time of 1:44.6; The Stig subsequently posted a lap-time of 1:44.4 in the Liana. During the review of Jenson Button's lap, Clarkson commented that he, as did most of the other F1 drivers, took very different racing lines from the Stig's. Button commented that "...obviously, the Stig isn't a Formula One Driver then." to which Clarkson replied with "Might be."

Although the Stig does talk with celebrities while preparing them for their "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" lap times, he is never shown talking on screen, and in Top Gear magazine articles he is portrayed as unable or unwilling to talk. Clarkson has written that the Stig is not permitted to talk on screen because any opinion he might voice on cars would be rubbish

From Wikipedia :stupido2:
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