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!