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Stig goes on tour - by truck

Top Gear favourite The Stig headed out on the road at a more sedate pace today as a giant figure of the show's test driver headed across Europe on a truck.

The nine-metre statue was strapped to a flat-bed truck as it headed from the programme's HQ at Dunsfold in Surrey to Poland where it will eventually be put up in Warsaw.

The huge figure, which has taken a team of three people two months to design and build, is being taken through various locations to promote the launch of a new global TV channel called BBC Brit.

The channel will launch in Poland on February 1 and Top Gear will be among the programmes it broadcasts, with many shows being screened the same day they are shown in the UK.

The mysterious Stig - who wears a mirrored visor to protect his identity - is more usually seen hurtling around a track at breakneck speeds, and the statue copies his familiar pose with crossed-arms.

During its three-day journey, the fibreglass sculpture will also call in at Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Berlin in Germany.

The effigy set off on its journey just hours before viewers see the real Stig and Top Gear presenters launch the new BBC2 series, with a race across St Petersburg in tonight's edition.

Amanda Hill, the chief brands officer for BBC Worldwide which is behind the channel launch, said: "BBC Brit will be the new home of Top Gear in Poland so what better way to mark this than by taking them a giant Stig. Fans will be able to spot him on the roads of England, Holland and Germany, he's impossible to miss."

As Jeremy Clarkson might say: "Some say he is a giant measuring nine metres in height and travels around on the back of a flat bed truck. All we know is, he's called The Stig."

PA Media