Deborah Ross: '‘I am the Stig,’ I told the whole family one day'

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If you ask me, it is always a sad, sad day when you discover you are not the Stig and have never been the Stig even though, for years, you thought you were. I certainly thought I was the Stig and, one time, even sat the whole family down and said: "I have something to tell you. I am the Stig". "No, you're not," said my husband. "I am," I said. "I've just done a brilliant job at disguising it until now."

"But you are terrified of motorways," he said, "and haven't driven on one for 17 years." "All part of the disguise," I said. "And you never go more than 20mph," he said. "All part of the disguise," I said. "And you accelerate while parking," he said. "Hello?" I said. "Have you been listening to what I've been saying about the disguise?"

And then my own mother started up. "But it took you seven years to pass your driving test," she said. "Mother," I said, "did you hear what I was just saying about the whole disguise business?" "And you had hundreds of lessons," she added. "I know, because I had to pay for most of them."

At this, I'm afraid I rather lost it, and said: "You know what? I don't have time to hang around arguing with losers like you. I have a busy day ahead. I'm accompanying a star in a reasonably priced car around the track and then I'm going to tea at Jeremy's with Richard and James where we may drive a Winnebago into a ditch or set fire to a Reliant Robin, just for the fun of it."

"But you have no sense of fun whatsoever," said my husband. "We can't even get you into the sea. You scream when you dip a toe in, and then run out, screaming." "All part of the disguise," I said.

And now? Now that Ben Collins, a racing driver, has been revealed as the Stig? Yes, OK, I do feel silly. Very silly indeed. But as I said to the family once I had gathered them together again: "I'm sorry I was not the Stig, but don't worry. I'll now have more time to be Banksy."

"But you can't draw..." said my mother. Disguise, mother, disguise! She just doesn't get it, does she?

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