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Good citizens of Poland, run for the hills: Big
Stig is coming!

He’s nine metres tall, made of fibreglass and,
according to the instruction manual, should only be hand-washed in warm soapy
water. We don’t know where he came from, or what his mission upon this mortal
coil may be. Frankly we’re worried to ask.

All we know is that he is Big Stig, and that he today departed the hallowed Top Gear test track on the back on a flatbed, bound for the Polish capital Warsaw, via Amsterdam, Berlin and Poznan. If you’re anywhere near those cities over the next few days, keep an eye out. You’re unlikely to miss him.

What’s all this in aid of, you ask? A fair question. It’s all about a new global channel called BBC Brit, which launches in Poland on February 1 and will be the new home of Top Gear in many countries around the world.

More, we hope, shall become clear in the coming days. For now, fair burghers of northern Europe, we ask you not to panic. Big Stig means no harm. If you spot him, simply stay calm, avoid eye contact, back quietly away and, whatever you do, don’t feed him any Wotsits. We don’t need another electrical substation trashed…

UPDATE, 27 January: After departing the UK on Sunday, we have word Big Stig has reached Germany, via the Dutch capital Amsterdam. And, having escaped the throngs of cameraphone-wielding spotters at Kent’s glamorous Clackett Lane service station, it seems Big Stig’s journey across mainland Europe hasn’t been exactly plain sailing.

“We had a brief stand-off with a tram in the narrow streets of Amsterdam,” reports Simon ‘Premium’ Bond, TG’s man on the ground. “And the journey through Germany to Berlin was fairly biblical in terms of weather. Good thing Big Stig’s waterproof…”

Last we heard, Big Stig’s rig was loose on the derestricted autobahn, clocking a fearsome v-max of 56.2mph en route to Poznan, Poland. Let us know if you spot the big lad…

UPDATE, 29 January: After briefly hibernating at the Poznan International Fair on Tuesday night (sorry if you had any electric storms there), our 33ft Stig went on a 200 mile drive to Warsaw, where, under the cover of darkness, he snuck into the Palace of Science and Culture. Not, you might think, to increase his knowledge of the intricate workings of the universe, but to calmly take out a car park barrier with his right elbow. Yeah, sorry about that, too.

Our man on the ground, Simon ‘Deep Vee’ Bond, had this to report: “The erection itself was executed with military precision. There was definitely no distressed shouting from the people in high-vis jackets and bob hats. On Thursday morning, actual Stig commandeered the cherry-picker to get a closer look at his effigy. After an awkwardly long time, he strode off… into the sub-zero temperatures without so much as a goodbye.”

So there we have it: Poland, please be upstanding for Big Stig. If you’re in Warsaw and feeling brave enough to get up close with Big Stig, we’re told he’ll be, um, open for business from 6pm on Thursday 29 January.

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