It’s as devastating to Alf as learning the truth about Father Christmas and The Tooth Fairy.
And it’s as upsetting as it would have been if anyone had ever unmasked The Lone Ranger.
The Stig has been publicly named.
He and all others who aided and abetted in this outrage should now be shamed. They have ruined Alf’s viewing pleasure.
A racing driver – no surprises there – has been revealed as The Stig after the High Court refused to grant the BBC an injunction blocking the publication the Top Gear star’s autobiography.
Until now, Alf and other aficionados of the TV show were left to wonder who he (or dare Alf suggest she) might be.
There’s absolutely no pleasure in guessing when somone has told you the bloody answer.
Secrecy was essential.
As the Telegraph points out in its report on the unveiling:
The Stig races a variety of cars on the Top Gear programme clad in white overalls and a blacked-out visor, and only about six people – including the programme’s presenters, Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond – knew his identity for certain.
The British courts – an institution Alf has previously held in high regard – have played a shabby role in the unveiling.
So has HarperCollins, the book publisher.
But above all, the villain of the piece is the bloke who is The Stig.
When it emerged that he planned to unmask himself, or lift his visor, or remove his helmet, or whatever, his employers sought an injunction to prevent HarperCollins from publishing the book.
What else could they do to preserve their wonderful secret?
And so they went to court.
As for The Stig, it seems the bugger was much too envious of his fellow stars and his ego – a yearning to be admired by the public who fawn over Clarkson and his mates – got the better of him.
The secrecy elevated him to cult status and spawned T-shirts with slogans such as “My Dad is the Stig”, but he is said to be unhappy that other presenters are able to earn considerable sums from book deals and promotional products.
It also seems he reneged on a deal with his employes, which should give good grounds for having him sent to a car crusher.
The BBC claimed that the mystery driver signed a confidentiality agreement and argued that blowing his cover would spoil viewers’ enjoyment of the flagship BBC 2 show.
He’s not the first Stig, of course.
The current “white” Stig took on the role in 2003 after the original “black” Stig, the racing driver Perry McCarthy, outed himself in an autobiography called Flat Out, Flat Broke.
And the name of the White Stig?
Nah. Alf can’t bring himself to blow the whistle, just as he has never blown the whistle on Father Christmas or The Tooth Fairy.
If the bloody news media have no respect for mystique, that’s their problem.
As for the White Stig, the BBC must trde him in for a new model. And new colours. Howz about The Blue Stig, resplendent in something that looks stunningly like National Party livery?