You can now leave comments on the articles that matter to you. Find out more here

BBC confirms Top Gear has not scrapped The Stig for series 32

Ever wonder who is actually behind The Stig helmet? Ready to whizz the Top Gear crew around a race track, the identity is usually kept a secret… but now fans wonder whether co-host Chris Harris ever filled the mystery role.

The character is a play on the anonymity of racing drivers’ full-face helmets, with the running joke that nobody knows who or what is inside the Stig’s racing suit. The identity was previously revealed, until a second stig came into place.

Since series 16,  the presenters explained that Stigs grow very quickly, and the new Stig was thus already fully grown. Making their debut, the current Stig set a speed record around the track (1:15.1) in an Ariel Atom V8!

So, just who is The Stig on Top Gear and was Chris Harris ever the face inside the helmet? From fan guesses to confirmed identities from the past, Reality Titbit has all the details on the well-known character.

  • TOP GEAR: How tall is Chris Harris? Is he small or is it the towering co-hosts?
Top Gear,01-01-2010,The Stig,Embargoed for publication until: n/a – Picture shows: The Stig,BBC,TODD ANTONY

The Stig absent from Top Gear

Series 32 of Top Gear has shown no sign of The Stig, despite some races being absolutely perfect for the character. This has led to viewers being convinced that the car-based series has scrapped the white helmet altogether.

The BBC has confirmed that Top Gear has definitely not scrapped The Stig for series 32 and told Reality Titbit:

The Stig is still very much a part of the Top Gear family and will be seen on screen again soon. In the meantime, The Stig has been making a number of Special appearances in support of/ahead of the current new Series 32, in the UK and globally at special events.

Before the network denied the rumours, one fan wrote on Twitter: “Seems #TopGear have done away with the stig in this new series.” Others are confused about why they’d ever remove the character – and luckily, they haven’t.

Top Gear executive producer Clare Pizey and series editor Alex Renton previously confirmed their intentions to remove The Stig from Star in a Reasonably Fast Car coaching duties, as per Top Gear Box. They said:

Instead of celebrities being taught to drive the track by the Stig, they will be taught by Chris with cameras filming them. Stig will still be doing the Stig laps.

It comes as the series appeared to be slowly phasing out The Stig’s appearances, but this is not the case at all, despite the series 32 trailer showed no sign of the mystery identity.

Fans ask if Chris Harris was The Stig

Chris Harris has been inundated with questions about whether he is actually The Stig, especially as the character is thought to be from Bristol like the racing driver. However, there’s been no confirmation about him filling the role.

According to a 2005 article in The Sunday Times, most of the Top Gear crew did not know the Stig’s identity; one camera assistant reportedly observed the Stig eating his lunch in the back of an ambulance to avoid being spotted.

However, in 2009, another Times article reiterated that only a few production staff, the show’s presenters and other BBC journalists knew the Stig’s true identity. So it’s possible that Chris knows the man inside the white helmet!

  • BLING EMPIRE: Baby G’s real name revealed – and why Christine’s son wears a helmet!

The Stig’s past identities

In series 13 episode 1, the show jokingly unmasked the Stig as seven-time world champion F1 driver Michael Schumacher. In the hiatus following series 15, racing driver Ben Collins was revealed to be the Stig.

Perry McCarthy was The Stig in 2004, before Collins took over. Before Collins let slip on the secret, it was reported that eight drivers shared the role, including Lewis Hamilton, Heikki Kovalainen, Chris Goodwin, Dan Lang and Julian Bailey.

Collins’ identity as The Stig was revealed in a court battle over Collins’ impending autobiography, titled The Man in the White Suit. However, he was replaced by a new Stig whose identity has never been officially confirmed.

An unverified source on Twitter recently revealed that one of the locals near where they live, who owns a rally school, told them he used to be The Stig. There are several people on Instagram to dress up at The Stig, including a guy Tom.

WATCH TOP GEAR ON BBC ONE EVERY SUNDAY AT 8 PM

AND GET FREAKY WITH US ON INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK

Thoughts? Comment Below
LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment
Celine is a journalist with over five years of experience in the media industry and the chief staff writer on Reality Titbit. After graduating with a degree in Multimedia Journalism she became a radio newsreader and reporter, before moving into her current role as a reality TV writer.