Ben Collins was born in Bristol before moving to California, where he competed as a junior Olympic standard swimmer. When a career as a fighter pilot was cut short by a visit to the optician, Ben switched to cars. He won races in every category from Formula Three to Le Mans Sportscars and GT, and captured the European ASCAR title. When a lack of funding curtailed his racing career, Ben joined the Army Reserves. He also worked as a Hollywood stuntman. In 2003 he became the anonymous fourth presenter, known as The Stig, of Top Gear, coaching celebrities, organising car chases and testing hundreds of priceless cars. Eight years and 13 series on, his alter ego is recognised by millions around the world. Ben lives in the West country with his wife Georgie and 3 children.