As The Stig on BBC's acclaimed TV show, Top Gear, Ben Collins captivated a global audience of 500 million viewers as the mystery man behind the helmet.
Ben Collins is best known for being "The Stig" from the BBC's EMMY and BAFTA award-winning Top Gear TV show. For 8 years he kept an audience of 500 million viewers worldwide guessing his identity. However not so many people know that Ben is also an Elite motorsport professional, Hollywood Stunt Driver, TV Presenter and keynote speaker. He is the best-selling author of two books; "The Man in the White Suit (The Stig, Le Mans, The Fast Lane and Me) and the international best-seller "How to Drive".
Jackie Stewart watched the young Ben Collins win a Formula 3 race and was blown away. He later said "when you see the likes of Ben Collins in Formula One, remember you saw them here first".
Ben did indeed become an elite motorsport driver in his own right, winning races across the diverse arena of motorsport from the Le Mans Series to GT and Nascar. And, as a stunt driving expert, he has worked on numerous Hollywood blockbusters including 3 James Bond movies (including the smash-hit SPECTRE) and the latest Batman movie.
During the 8 years that Ben was 'The Stig' on Top Gear, nobody ever saw his face or knew his name and the audience increased from 2 million viewers to 500 million worldwide and the phrase 'Who is The Stig?' became one of the most popular searches on Google. He also coached hundreds of celebrities around the Top Gear racetrack including household names such as Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Mark Wahlberg, Jeff Goldblum, Christian Slater, Simon Cowell, Hugh Grant, Jamiroquai and Tom Jones.
As the Stig, Ben was the benchmark of speed against which all the other celebrity drivers set themselves and the man that everyone including Formula One World Champions Nigel Mansell and Jenson Button tried and failed to beat.
With many other achievements to his name including being a professional Le Mans 24-hour Racecar Driver, a bestselling author, a TV presenter, a world record breaker and a multiple award-winning Hollywood stunt driver, Ben has plenty of experience from which to draw when engaging audiences from the platform.
Additionally, Ben co-ordinated high voltage car chases and tested hundreds of priceless cars, which lead to a second career as a vehicle development expert.
As an international speaker, Ben engages with his audiences putting them in the driving seat of every known supercar.
As a racing driver, Ben’s life hangs in the balance of split-second decisions being made at speeds exceeding 220 mph. Ben is an expert on the mental aptitude required to be a professional in this highly competitive environment. He provides insights on what it feels like to race. A high-pressure environment where the combined value of teamwork determines success or failure and total focus is the key to unlocking potential. “As is so often the case in everyday life, it’s the little things that count in motor racing. To go that fraction faster through a corner than the next man means stretching yourself and believing it’s possible when everything is telling you it’s physically impossible.”
The Driver in a racing team sits at the hub of a group of experts channelling their unique skills towards the goal of winning. Every individual is linked by that shared vision and invariably it is the weakest link in the chain that determines whether the Team will win or lose. Words like camaraderie, commitment, motivation, team-work and trust find their true value when a racing car slides into the hands of the pit crew, at 3 o’clock in the morning of a 24-hour race, for a tyre change and a refuel during a monsoon.
Ben’s career was forged by competition and the search for inner strength. The Stig epitomised a superhuman quality that was effortless and matter of fact, but the man behind the mask had to dig very deep for every victory, every lap time and every inch of tarmac. His story is not one of indomitable victory, but of learning to overcome setbacks, of personal risk-taking and survival, and a little luck too.
Ben understands the complexities of the business world as well as the racing, His company continues to thrive under his leadership and provide ever greater spectacles of driving. He understands the importance of working as a team, having done so all his life in the Army and in the pit lanes. He has effectively applied this to the world of commerce. Motor racing is a sport that thrives on new technology and is pioneering the energy systems of the future that will replace the use of carbon-based fuels. ‘High tech’ requires investment and Ben works continuously with the media and focused organisations to deliver funding for his racing programs. In the modern media landscape of ‘here today, forgotten tomorrow’, racing provides a visceral platform for corporate communication with Ben delivering at the sharp end on and off the track.
Ben thrives on living on the edge, his anecdotes of racing, crashing and winning reflect this. Anonymity has been a way of life for Ben for 8 years, his story highlights this in many amusing ways. Teamwork is a strong theme throughout Ben’s racing career and working in the Hollywood Stunt Industry, where trust in those around you is essential Technical reliability is vital in all Ben’s endeavours, highlighted by an incident involving an Airbag and a broken nose in Italy.
"We were delighted to use Ben on and off the track, speaking about driving exercises to guests and describing his honest impressions from driving in the context of tires." - Michelin
"Absolutely brilliantly received both during his presentation and also afterwards at the party." - EMC2
"Ben was fabulous to work with and made a special effort to build a better experience for our colleagues, people said they had the time of their life." - British Airways
"Fantastic as our first presenter of the night." - BAFTA
"Ben has a unique and compelling style for conveying to the audience what it really feels like to be in the hot seat. We enjoyed his talk enormously." - Bank of America