• Nov 12, 2009
What if the Stig was known as the Gimp? It's doubtful Top Gear's mysterious racing driver – or the show itself – would have proved as enormously popular. Would you walk around in a shirt proclaiming, "I Am The Gimp?" Doubtful, but if Jeremy Clarkson and the show's producer Andy Wilman had had their way, that's what we'd be calling old Stiggy. Luckily, cooler angrier heads prevailed. Though it should be noted that the Stig was, in fact, based on the Gimp from Pulp Fiction, an "anonymous masked driver who never spoke."

You can read about all that and more in a very interesting article by the Guardian's Patrick Barkham. And it's not all about the motor-mouthed Clarkson and foul-mouthed (trust us) Wilman, Richard Hammond and James May get their proper due, too. For instance, May claims that he never would have done the show had he known how successful it would be, a point Hammond quickly dismisses. We don't want to spoil it too much more, but if you're a fan of the biggest TV show in the world (350 million viewers, constantly illegally downloaded), you're going to want to have a read. Tip of Stig's blanco racing helmet to Jon!

[Source: Guardian]


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  • 24 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Err...it's Andy Wilman, not William
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's ironic, that the second comment makes you look like an ass.

        Can you post a link to the blogging by-laws so we can all read up on what you have memorized?
        • 5 Years Ago
        By the way, when you get called on a typo, it's polite to line through the mistake instead of just correcting it. That way, I don't look like an ass for correcting an error that isn't there any longer.

        Thanks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Steven: you must be new here. It's called "netiquette". Look it up some day. Put it into practice another day.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Illegally downloaded" is such a harsh term. I prefer "shared amongst the masses who don't benefit from the BBC's lack of crappy commercial breaks and asinine censorship." :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        There's also the fact that it's legal for UK Citizens to watch BBC programmes without having to own a TV licence. You just need that for watching it on a TV as it's broadcast. So torrenting is legal for UK Citizens.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well I can't wait to Torrent some "shared" Top Gear this weekend.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wish they would bring back Tiff.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope the new season is better than the last - everything seemed rehearsed and well, just lacking the spontaneity of the earlier seasons.

      Re-watch the "news" spots - they were adding canned laughter for Chrissakes.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is Stig a lefty? He crosses his left arm over.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why is the Autoblog commenting software so broken?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Gimp just doesn't have the resonance that The STIG has. STIG sounds more authorative.. and mysterious too.

      They need to get with the times and try to provide alternative forms of distribution. There are a lot of people who would otherwise have no access to Stig and company without resorting to pirating. I don't even have cable TV service.
      • 5 Years Ago
      WELL WELL WELL.... although there is some truth to this article, i bet whoever wrote it was in a hurry to fill a column or something...

      the Gimp was dropped because the original black Stig, (forgot his name) refused to be called the gimp, although he does look like on in black.. Stig was the name used by Clarky to call 'lesser' beings in his school, the same school Andy went to...

      and for those who are whinging.... Top Gear is one if not the most successful show on the world's TV...and streaming computer screens....

      hopefully fifth gear doesnt get killed off, because they are the show that balance the absurdity and craziness (al be it classic and amazing) stunts the three auto stooges pull on Top Gear....

      I'm sure Tom Ford would be a great addition to the cast, as well as VBH.... bring in Tiff, and you would definitely have the greatest motoring show of all times.....undisputed for eternity....

      i think that is what they should do instead of letting top gear wither and die...but i suspect that wouldn't be happening unless the world runs out of cars....
      • 5 Years Ago
      No mention of Jason Dawes then? Looks like they've airbrushed the boring one out of history - not easy given his immense girth!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dawe. There may have been a lot of him, but he wasn't plural.
      • 5 Years Ago
      BBC should just sell the rights to PBS! PBS doesn't have commercials so its a perfect avenue for them, plus their ratings would go thru the roof!
      PBS already broadcast some crappy comedy's from the BBC already.

      If the BBC sold this show to PBS I would be more than happy to donate more than $20 a year to them.

      Come On American TV executives! You already pollute my television with hours and hours of half arse idiots with half arse talent, dance shows with "B" list celebrities and attention whores!

      Give me TOP GEAR already!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Or you could pay the BBC $235.74 annually, because that's what the TV licence costs and that's who makes the programme.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You couldn't have an american version on PBS, but you could on Showtime, or HBO. It would be huge on a Sunday night.

        I say give us American version of Top Gear.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good read. Can't wait for Sunday.
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