6 Sept 2010

Hestia and THE STIG

No - it never WAS Michael Shumacher
Would you credit it? All this palavar about The Stig and the BBC taking out an injunction to prevent him from disclosing all  in his autobiography, when the original Stig brought out his autobiography YONKS ago!

Yes, I met The Stig at a racing event out at Mount Stuart many years ago.  And he was signing copies of HIS autobiography.

To fill you in, the Marquis of Bute and owner of 99% of this fair island *tugs forelock obligingly* is Johnny Bute, one time Le Mans winner (1988) and racing aficionado.

I was contracted to take photographs of the event for Mount Stuart one year.  I *know* my photographs on this blog are shit, but really, I can do quite well when I have 35mm to hand and a hefty bag of lenses.  Plus, I think they were desperate lol!

Anyway, I digress....

There was this bloke sitting hopefully at a little desk in the Visitors Centre with copies of a book to be bought and signed.  I'd been tramping the grounds taking pix since about 8am and I felt sorry for the bloke who didn't seem to be doing much business any time I trudged past.  So I bought his book and got him to inscribe it 'To Tertarus, all the best.  Your wife is working very hard! Cheers Perry McCarthy'.

To be fair to Mr McCarthy, he didn't actually SAY he was The Stig when we were chatting, but later on, as I perused his book 'Flat Out Flat Broke - Formula 1 The Hard Way' it became clear that he was, in fact, *adopts Jeremy Clarkson intonation* .......The Stig.

So - if you are looking for a great gift for a car-mad man, can I recommend Perry's book?

This is the moment when I wish that I was an Amazon Affiliate, right?


ahah! I now IS an Amazon Affiliate wooopppeeee!

Mini Book Review:  Formula 1 is notorious for being a rich man's game.  And Perry McCarthy was not a rich man. The book chronicles his relentless pursuit for a place in F1 and what it costs him - financially and emotionally. The combination of darkly funny writing and great racing anecdotes results in a motorsport autobiography that is actually a very enjoyable read (this from someone who has tried to burn Tertarus's collection of  Fast People's Autobiographies'.

I recommend it to The House.


  1. So was he the original Stig?
    Don't mention Amazon to me at the mo.I was just debited £49 from my bank account For Amazon Prime annual membership which I clearly signed up for by accident.
    My Top Gear claim to fame:-I was once interviewed for a SKY programme by a former Top Gear presenter.I cant even remember his name it was when the programme was for car nerds.He was wearing a checked cap.

  2. I think the 'original' Stig was actually a team of drivers, any one of which could be the anonymous Stig when required.

    The book was published in 2002 and I'm not sure whether, at that point, The Stig had assumed the cult status that he has now.

    Re your encounter with a man in a checked cap. Wasn't Tiff Niddell was it? That man makes me want to shoot myself.

  3. Ali-no it wasn't Tiff Niddell-just googled his name and I don't recognise him.This was a little chap in a flat cap looked like someone's Uncle not a TV presenter..
    Will have to research.

  4. Very interesting. I think I might buy this for my Dad for Christmas then of course read it myself once he's finished! ;)

  5. MB - it's a very good read.

    Lots of great anecdotes about famous racing drivers. There's a lot of humour in the book too, much of it directed against himself, which is a nice touch.

    Ali x


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