The Stig and Amy Brunson
Scouting for The Stig
By Linda Serck
A Reading Scout has handed over a special achievement badge to The Stig to mark the movement's 101st birthday. Find out how 17-year-old Amy Brunson got on meeting the mysterious racing driver.
Next time you watch The Stig on BBC2's Top Gear, he'll be proudly displaying a Scouting badge presented to him by Reading's Amy Brunson.
The mysterious and anonymous racing driver received the Instructor badge from the 17-year-old Scout, who was invited to present the badge to him personally at the Top Gear track.
"We felt he deserved the badge because he's taught lots of celebrities to drive safely, and in turn he inspires young people to want to drive safely," says Amy, who's part of the Phoenix Explorer Scout Unit, based in Tilehurst.
"He was genuinely honoured that we were giving it to him."
A total of ten celebrities received honorary badges by the Scouting Association as part of the movement's 101st birthday celebrations.
As well as The Stig, a panel of Scouts awarded Jamie Oliver the Healthy Eating badge and Ray Mears the Outdoor Adventure badge, while Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman have both earned themselves the Navigator badge.
"We felt these celebrities had done something worthwhile and positive and have inspired lots of young people to do something constructive with their time."
Amy was one of three Scouts personally invited by Top Gear's producer to visit the studio and meet The Stig, who took pains to ensure his identity was not revealed.
"We talked to him for half an hour and he had his helmet and visor down, despite the fact it was 30 degrees," Amy exclaimed.
"It was off-putting at times because you didn't know where to look, so we were just looking at his helmet, hoping that his eyes were looking at you as well."
Amy can however reveal that The Stig is about 6 ft and Caucasian, as at one point he took off his gloves.
The teenager was also lucky enough to mingle with the show's three presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.
"They are exactly like they are on the telly - Richard Hammond is just as little as he looks on the TV as well."
The Stig has sewn the badge onto his racing suit, which will be seen throughout the next series.
The Top Gear team, responding on behalf of the Stig, said:
"We are delighted and honoured that The Stig has received this prestigious award from the Scout Movement.
"The Team would also like to commend the two scouts who were attacked by The Stig during the presentation ceremony for displaying such ingenuity and courage.
"They weren't to know that The Stig is terrified of Scouts and yet they dealt with the situation swiftly and effectively".
last updated: 05/08/2008 at 10:16