Last night I broke the news here on B/R that popular British motor programme Top Gear ended their long running joke, The Stig, a man who drives new vehicles around the show's very own Test Circuit.
The current Stig (since 2004) has never revealed himself, and because of this he has become a cult icon in the United Kingdom as well as overseas. After months of speculation and a lot of controversy, Top Gear ended an era when they revealed The Stig's identity to be none other than the greatest Formula One driver of all time, Michael Schumacher.
But everything about this pointed towards a "Prank." The show is very humorous, so much so that it is as much about comedy as it is about motoring. The show's presenters often play big jokes on each other. But this is by far the greatest.
I doubt very much that "Schumi" was allowed to take days off when he was still racing for Ferrari—and after being paid a reported $80,000,000 salary by Ferrari, as well as many sponsorship deals in Europe and Asia, it is unbelievable that the BBC managed to persuade Schumi to work for them.
Also, if you were the show's producer, would you have kept the fact that the greatest driver in the world was racing on your show every week? He pulled in nearly a billion viewers doing that for F1, right?
Many people had been followed and claimed they were being unfairly treated as the media stepped up their search to find the real Stig. Maybe this was their plan to take the focus away from the poor guy under the helmet that will never be known.
At the end of the show, Michael Schumacher got lost in a very funny ending and crashed into the television cameras, signalling that he clearly wasn't The Stig in many people's view. Jeremy Clarkson also remarked, "so Michael Schumacher is The Stig...or is he?" perhaps trying to subtly say that unfortunately Schumacher isn't The Stig, and most likely it is someone we have never heard of...and never will.