The long kept secret of the BBC hit “Top Gear” has been revealed. The famous white helmet belongs to none other then Ben Collins.
Publishers HarperCollins released the name in a statement. Saying: Ben Collins “has a great story to tell about his seven years as The Stig, which will appeal to a wide audience beyond just motoring enthusiasts.”
Calling it a “victory for freedom of speech,” HarperCollins said the book will be published in Britain on Sept. 16.
“Top Gear” is one of the BBC’s most successful programs, and is seen in more than 100 countries around the world. Alongside the show’s three garrulous hosts, The Stig is an always-silent presence, fearlessly navigating the show’s test track in glamorous cars.
Speculation over his identity is a favorite pastime for fans of the show, and the “Top Gear” website sells T-shirts proclaiming “I am The Stig,” “I am not The Stig,” and “I am The Stig’s fat cousin,” among others.
“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,” producer Andy Wilman said in a post on the show’s website. “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.”