F1 »

'Original Stig' discloses more Top Gear secrets

The original Top Gear Stig has released a new version of his 'behind the scenes' book about his time on the show.

British racing driver Perry McCarthy has revealed new details of his time as the original Stig on the BBC motoring show Top Gear.

McCarthy was the first person to embody the TV show's iconic faceless test driver in the first two seasons of the show after its relaunch in 2002 and 2003. He wore a black firesuit and helmet to conceal his identity, but he was eventually exposed by a Sunday newspaper report and 'killed off' in a stunt.

His replacement - in white firesuit and helmet this time - was Ben Collins, who worked on the show for eight years until he decided to reveal his own identity to the world in an autobiography in 2010, despite legal moves by the BBC and the Top Gear production team to stop publication.

McCarthy has now re-released his own memoirs entitled Flat Out, Flat Broke which includes details of what it was like to keep his identity as Stig a total secret - even from the Top Gear team - and even what it felt like to be a completely anonymous household name.

"I'm okay with Stig stuff now," said McCarthy. "I have been for a long while. But at the time, I slowly became disenchanted because there were some things happening behind the scenes."

The new version of his memoirs contains two new chapters about his time on Top Gear. It includes anecdotes about how he put on a French accent to disguise his voice whilst working with celebrities and the production crew, and also explains why he left the show.

McCarthy said that he wanted to address some stories that have been circulating about his time as the so-called Black Stig: "A couple of them have been consistently misreported," he said. "Here's the deal."

McCarthy's autobiography also covers his racing career, which included a year as Footwork's test driver in 1991 which led to his big break - a race seat with the independent Andrea Moda team run by shoe businessman Andrea Sassetti for the following season.

Unfortunately the team's efforts to put together a credible operation faltered almost from the start, and in the middle of the disorganised chaos McCarthy failed to qualify for a single GP during the season. The team eventually completely collapsed leaving a disenchanted McCarthy out of work.

"My book has done better than my F1 career - well, it certainly takes longer to read!" he quipped.

McCarthy also tells the story of how he worked his way up from a childhood in Billericay, Essex and managed to compete in Formula Ford, Formula 3, F3000, Le Mans and various touring and sports car races in America, describing it as a story of how he had "started with nothing and lost it all," adding: "It only took me 30 years' to get out of debt!"

McCarthy's book is published by Haynes and is on sale at all leading bookshops, including Amazon.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
The Stig
The Stig
Lewis Hamilton `faces up` to BBC Top Gear`s Stig, but can`t look the mystery man in the eye...... [pic copyright: BBC Top Gear]
BBC <I>Top Gear</I>`s `Stig` drives Toyota`s TF105 indoors at London`s ExCeL arena
Perry McCarthy - Flat Out, Flat Broke
Book cover of Flat Out, Flat Broke by Perry McCarthy. (Pictur Credit: Haynes)
22.08.2014- Free Practice 1, Andrea Bertolini (ITA),
27.07.2014- Race, Andrea Stella (ITA) Ferrari race Engineer and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
27.07.2014- Race, Andrea Stella (ITA) Ferrari race Engineer and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
03.07.2014- Thursday Press Conference, top to bottom Left to right Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9, Max Chilton (GBR), Marussia F1 Team MR03, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
25.05.2014- Race, Andrea Casariraghi, Pierre Casiraghi and Princess Charlene of Monaco
Jeremy Clarkson (GBR) Top Gear TV Presenter at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
23.05.2014. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Friday.
Jeremy Clarkson (GBR) Top Gear TV Presenter at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
23.05.2014. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Friday.
Jeremy Clarkson (GBR) Top Gear TV Presenter at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
23.05.2014. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Friday.
Jeremy Clarkson (GBR) Top Gear TV Presenter at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
23.05.2014. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Friday.
MSA appoints Ben Taylor as Managing Director of IMS
18.04.2014- Free Practice 2, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T and Andrea Stella (ITA) Ferrari race Engineer
17.04.2014- Press Conference, top to bottom Left to right: Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM07, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Luke - Unregistered

February 27, 2013 2:13 AM

Perry mccarthys treatment at andrea moda was a joke. He was hired just to meet the requirement of having two drivers and was given what was essentially a half finished car that couldn't even do half a lap without a failure and the car was extremely dangerious, all resources where aimed at the lead car, but even still it was 5 seconds off the pace. the team was really just made so the owner could brag to his freinds and women that he had an f1 team and he did this with as minimum money as possible, the team only lasted half a season befoew the fia realised the second car wasn't ever a real effort to ever compete.

Steve Bentley - Unregistered

February 26, 2013 6:24 PM

Where can i take my original version to get it replaced with the complete version. assuming there are no further updates to it. As much as i enjoyed the original, i will not buy the updated version.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.