Top Gear Thursday: Former Stig Takes the Wheel in 007 Movie ‘Skyfall’

Undercover driver - The Stig; Ben Collins (Press Association/AP Images)

The man who was Top Gear’s second – and longest-running – Stig has been spotted on the set of the next James Bond movie, currently filming in London.

Race car driver Ben Collins, aka “The White Stig,” was seen driving a black Jaguar XF in London, reports the Daily Mail. He was wearing the exact same suit and tie as Bond star Daniel Craig, which led the paper to the obvious assumption that Collins is, once again, Craig’s stunt driver double.

Collins, who was The Stig on Top Gear from 2003 to 2010 – has been a stunt driver in Craig’s two previous Bond outings, Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale.

“In between his dangerous driving,” the Daily Mail reported, “Collins was spotted keeping warm on set in a black coat and was clutching a radio.”

• Baby, it’s cold outside…in Europe. Top Gear’s UK site pointed out that the weather hasn’t fazed Andy Gülden, the chief instructor of the Nürbürgring Driving Academy. Gülden, writes Top Gear, “decided against a tiresome moan to anyone that will listen about how rubbish the snow is” and “proceeded to have himself a jolly good time.”

The bitter cold in Europe was also an occasion for Top Gear UK to revisit the boys’ trip to the Arctic in the show’s Polar Special.

• Hard as it is to believe, there were a few car ads that we didn’t preview before Sunday’s Super Bowl. Like the one with the end-of-the-world apocalypse that destroys everything except Chevys:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XxFYYP8040A

Then, of course, there’s the Clint Eastwood “It’s half time in America” ad:

There was also the Fiat ad for a car we never heard of, in Italian, a language we can’t understand. But this commercial wasn’t about the words.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpi2IAec9Ho&feature=player_embedded

• And, finally, an update. Two weeks ago, we reported that Gordon Henderson, a member of Parliament who represents the Isle of Sheppey, had invited Jeremy Clarkson for a visit. Clarkson had called the tiny island “mostly a caravan site,” and the MP wanted to prove to the Top Gear host that he was wrong.

Yesterday, we learned from Caravan Times that Clarkson has declined Henderson’s offer. The website reported that Clarkson’s reps said he would not be able to visit “due to his filming commitments for the show.”

Henderson responded: “I was not disappointed with Jeremy’s response as he may well take up the offer some time in the future. If he does, he will receive a warm welcome.”

• P.S. Top Gear fans with iPads and iPhones: the Stunt School app is still free in the Apps store.