Victoria Hawkins' Week: Demon Drivers

I think I may know the identity of The Stig. You know the faceless guy/gal (?) in Top Gear who sets the lap times and helps the celebrity drivers round their course.

I think I may know the identity of The Stig. You know the faceless guy/gal (?) in Top Gear who sets the lap times and helps the celebrity drivers round their course. His/her real name seems to be shrouded in mystery but all may now soon be revealed.

My contender is actually still at school and only aged 13 but she drives a mean machine - an ancient 4-wheel drive Japanese number with hand-painted go-faster flames down the side, pink fluffy dice hanging from the mirror and a matching pink fluffy steering wheel cover. In fact it's Em my niece who lives up in the frozen north - which is somewhere north of Leeds any road up.

About four and a half foot tall, she's only been in the hot seat for a couple of weeks but already she's a bit of a demon driver off-road - tearing up the gravel lanes on the fields which adjoins their house - with her father, sitting white faced and white-knuckled in the passenger seat. Though she can barely reach the pedals, and obviously doesn't actually drive on the road, she's already turning into a hot lady on wheels and has proudly announced that she's not only got into third gear (and reverse) but she's also reached 28mph.

Em must take after her maternal great-grandmother. She was also a demon driver right up to her 90th birthday and she never had to pass a test either. She adored driving - especially big-engined fast cars - and at some point got into occasionally delivering sports cars for American servicemen when she was into her seventies. How she got the job, I can't completely remember though I believe it was actually a small ad in the EADT, but she loved it until they realised how old she was!


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“Just driven a Lotus Elan down to Southampton, dear, lovely car,” she'd say, pouring herself a huge gin and It - though not lighting up a pink Balkan Sobraine, which she once would have done as she'd given up smoking those by the time she got to her seventies too.

Well I think we should nurture Em's enthusiasm and I'm toying with the idea of getting in touch with Jeremy Clarkson to see if she can have a go at the “celebrity circuit” - who knows I may be the aunt of a future Stig-To-Be.

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