The Mirror are reporting that Ben Collins has been sacked as the Stig after revealing his identity in an autobiography.
Yes, we should probably have made the headline ‘Some say he’s been sacked…’ or ‘All we know is, he’s looking for a new job’. But it wouldn’t change the fact that the Stig has been sacked. Or at least he has according the Mirror. And how do they know? Well, as the Mirror does, they were out doorstepping Ben Collins at the same time as the Stig was appearing at in event at the Nurburgring. So 2 + 2 makes 4. Probably.
To be honest, we’re surprised Ben Collins lasted this long. His identity was an open secret for years – ever since he took over from local boy (well, our local boy) Perry McCarthy. So convinced were we that Ben would lose his job as the Stig at the start of 2009 after letting his secret identity slip that we ran the story that Ben Collins was the Stig.
Amazingly, unlike Perry McCarthy who was dumped off an aircraft carrier when he was outed, Ben Collins as White Stig survived. There was a point when we felt sure he was going to go last year when the Beeb did a video tease of the Black Stig rising from the sea – a Lazarus-like return. But Ben Collins survived.
Of course, the Beeb could be playing double-bluff by using a stand-in for the Stig. But we think Ben Collins has gone too far this time. After all, he’s not the Stig. He’s just the man who currently inhabits the Stig’s skin. The Stig is a BBC prop; a persona invented, encouraged, developed, exploited and ultimately made successfull by the Beeb. If Ben Collins thinks there aren’t a thousand wannabe drivers who could do the same job, he’s a prat.
But then he’s already proved that by believing he is the Stig.
Bring on ‘Purple Stig’.