Top Gear should choose next Stig with X Factor-style contest, says Ben Collins
Top Gear should choose the next Stig with an X Factor-style talent contest, Ben Collins has suggested.
Collins, who worked as the programme's anonymous helmeted stuntman for seven years, says the show would be "childish" to rule out having another Stig in the next series just because his identity has been revealed.
The driver, 35, said: "What the powers that be decide to do, they will do, but at the moment they are behaving in a childish way to just throw the baby out with the bathwater.
"That would be a real shame. My view is that one Stig goes out and another can go in. It's a great opportunity for the next driver to make their mark.
"Maybe they could do a contest and get everyone to write in with their CV and give it a pop.
"If I were working on the show I'd suggest they do a shoot out - a sort of Who Wants to Be the Stig? X Factor.
"People could turn up in balaclavas and they could all have a go."
He added: "It's my belief The Stig lives forever.
"There's a lot of people who would enjoy that job who are thinking this is my chance. I do wish the best for Top Gear and I hope it keeps going for years to come."
The BBC lost a case at the High Court last month after being refused an injunction to stop Collins from publishing his autobiography about his years on Top Gear.
He has since been told that he is unable to appear on any BBC programmes after revealing the identity of the Stig which had been a closely guarded secret.
He said: "I am suggesting it but I don't know whether they will take anything from me.
"Schumacher seemed keen so perhaps he's available. However, he's doing well in Formula 1.
"He wore the white suit when he last came down and seemed to fit in quite well. He's obviously got the skills as a seven-times World Champion -although he's probably got bigger fish to fry."
Collins's autobiography, The Man in the White Suit: The Stig, Le Mans, The Fast Lane And Me is published by HarperCollins this month.