September 02, 2010 03:38:38 GMT
'The Stig' who coaches celebrities in the British reality show and always wears dark-visored crash helmet, is identified as racing driver Ben Collins.
The mystery motoring expert who taught stars including Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Mark Wahlberg, and Hugh Grant how to drive like a pro has finally been unmasked. The identity of 'The Stig' - resident racetrack guru on hit British TV show "Top Gear" - has remained a closely-guarded secret for years.
But he was finally named on Wednesday, September 1 as racing driver and stuntman Ben Collins, after an extraordinary court case in London. Collins' main role on the show is to coach celebrity guests on how to tackle a racetrack as part of the "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" sequence - which sees famous faces bidding to beat their showbiz rivals' previous lap times. Grant, Wahlberg, Diaz and Dame Helen Mirren are among stars who have taken part in previous programmes, and Cruise is currently heading up the leaderboard after an impressive display of driving when he appeared on the show in July.
Collins keeps his identity a secret by refusing to remove his dark-visored crash helmet on the show - but now the truth is out after the BBC failed to obtain an injunction banning publication of The Stig's autobiography, in which he reveals his real name.
Broadcasting bosses took the case to London's High Court this week, insisting The Stig's name should be kept under wraps to "protect the character". But the judge, Mr Justice Morgan, refused to grant an injunction on Wednesday after hearing legal arguments. His reasons for the decision had not been made public as WENN went to press.