Top Gear has 'lost some of its sparkle', says Ben 'The Stig' Collins

The racing driver said the programme has become 'a bit same same'

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The Independent Culture

Ben “The Stig” Collins thinks Top Gear has “lost some of its sparkle”.

The racing driver and James Bond stunt double, who has since left the show, said that a shake-up is needed to revive the popular BBC programme. 

“It’s definitely lost some of its sparkle, but that’s not me saying that because I’ve left,” he told The Independent at the launch of new race simulation game Project Cars.

“I think that the three presenters (Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May), when they’re on their own and describing an environment, are fantastic.

“The problem is a lot of this is a bit contrived, the squabbling that goes on, the caricatures with each other, is a bit tried and tested.”

Collins, who described his past job as “awesome” stressed that he was not seeking to criticise Top Gear – but he believes it has become a “a bit same-same”.

“But that’s always tough,” he said. “It’s been going for 11 years now in that format and it’s hard to come up with new ideas, so they ought to try something new.”


He added that he is not bothered by the fact that he is more widely recognised as The Stig than as a racing driver.

“I’ve had a great time. That job is awesome. I’m so proud that I did it for as long as I did, and got it to a level where it became a world phenomenon.

“If people remember it and remember it fondly then that’s great,” he said.

Top Gear has attracted controversy this month when the team was forced to flee Argentina, after angry people threw stones at them in the wake of the Falklands War number plate row.

The BBC cast and crew abandoned their cars at the roadside after a crowd became enraged at a Porsche with the registration number H982 FKL.

The BBC has confirmed that the Top Gear crew left Argentina but declined to comment on the latest reports.