The distinctive white racing helmet worn by The Stig on the BBC’s Top Gear fetched $5,337 at auction on Wednesday night.

It was sold by Sophia Vaizey, who was given the helmet as a leaving present after working on the show as a production co-ordinator for 18 months.

One of the programme’s presenters, Richard Hammond, signed it, along with production crew members and The Stig himself, who has now left the motoring show but wore it from around 2002 to 2005.

The helmet went under the hammer at Gorringes Auctioneers in Lewes, East Sussex, with a guide price of $1,900 but ended up going for almost three times as much to a private collector.

Mrs Vaizey, 30, from Hove, previously said she hoped the helmet would fetch a good price following the recent highly publicised High Court battle involving the BBC over the disclosure of The Stig’s identity.

She said: “The Stig wore that one on the show for quite a while. He then got a new one for safety reasons, so it got stored away in the Top Gear office.

“I was quite surprised when they gave it to me but also I felt honoured.”

The BBC recently took legal action to block publication by HarperCollins of an autobiography which would unmask racing driver Ben Collins as the show’s mystery driver.

But after more than a day of legal argument in private, Mr Justice Morgan said he would not grant the BBC a temporary injunction to do this as he said his identity was already widely known.

It had been a badly kept secret for some time, having already been published in the media last year.

Collins has since joined rival show Fifth Gear on Channel 5 where he will appear without his trademark helmet.


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