Jun 22, 2009 at 10:54am IST

BBC's mystery driver in Top Gear revealed

London: After years of keeping his identity secret, former Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher has revealed he is "The Stig", the anonymous professional test car driver from BBC motoring show Top Gear.

Each episode of the cult show, which has been sold to television channels around the world, sees "The Stig" whizzing around test tracks in powerful cars wearing a white jumpsuit with his features hidden by a white crash helmet.

The original Stig was axed from the show after British racing-car driver Perry McCarthy revealed his identity in an autobiography in 2002.

REVEALED: File picture of retired Ferrari Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher.

In an episode broadcast on Sunday, the current Stig took off his white helmet to loud cheers from the studio audience, revealing himself to be Schumacher, Formula One's most successful driver and seven times world champion.

In January, media reports had claimed Stig was Ben Collins, who featured as a stuntman in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace.