The Stig reveals what his original name was - and it’s AWFUL

2 February 2019, 08:00 | Updated: 2 February 2019, 08:01

Racing driver Perry McCarthy tells the story of who The Stig was meant to be - and why he told Jeremy Clarkson ‘No way!’

Perry McCarthy was the guest on the Chris Moyles Show and he’s been telling us about his days as the original “Stig” on Top Gear.

Perry was the masked driver who would take on professional racers in the Power Laps segment of the show. He told Chris how the name of the character came about… and how it very nearly was something altogether more embarrassing.

“I’d written a book back in 2002 about my career coming all the way through motor racing and getting to Formula 1 with pretty much no money,” he says.

The Stig from Top Gear
The Stig from Top Gear. Picture: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

“Jeremy [Clarkson] and a lot of friends from Formula 1 were at the book launch and Jeremy said, Listen we’re bringing Top Gear back, we’ve got this great idea for you! You’re gonna be all dressed in black - because first, Stiggy was all in black - so black gloves, black crash helmet, black overalls… He said, we’re gonna call you the Gimp!

“I said, ‘No, you’re not son!’ They were really keen on it, seriously. In the end, thank God, they settled on The Stig, which is what they used to call the junior kids at their school.

“They were real keen on calling it The Gimp and I just thought I really don't want that tag!”