Monday, March 12, 2012

I could be The Stig

I studiously avoided the motoring programme Top Gear on BBC when we first got cable TV. I'm not a car enthusiast -- I don't even know how to drive -- and I was sure that reviews of things that zoom past very fast was plain boring. But Top Gear has a huge following. Last December, they were selling tickets here in Singapore for a Top Gear live special in Perth, Australia. I didn't know that the fuss was about. Until I caught an episode a few weeks ago. Now, I'm hooked.

It's not the cars. I couldn't give two hoots about the car reviews. It was solely the madcap antics of the three larrikin co-presenters. Each episode, they would have an absurd challenge -- oh, converting a three-wheeled Reliant Robin into a space shuttle; racing about an airfield in airport vehicles (a fire engine, fuel truck, a catering truck, a bendy bus, that thing that's stairs on wheels, to see which is the slowest vehicle that's causing flight delays); being roadies for The Who.

A fourth character, the show's test driver, shares the credit lines with the three co-presenters -- an anonymous faceless voiceless test driver called The Stig. They would have you believe that The Stig is not entirely human. His Facebook page (of course he has one) says: Some say that he's Mac compatible, and that he once punched a horse to the floor. All we know is, he's called The Stig.

It's a running gag who The Stig really is. I'm told T-shirts proclaiming "I am The Stig" go fast on the Top Gear e-store. Various names have been thrown up. All male. In the light of International Women's Day, has anyone considered that The Stig could be female? :)

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