The Met Mess Dinner: And a guest even more cautious than us…

By W Bro Daniel Graham


The iconic BBC TV show “Top Gear” has cemented its place in popular culture over the years, captivating audiences with its exhilarating car tests and enigmatic racing driver, the Stig.


The question “Who is the Stig?” once dominated the list of the UK’s most Googled searches, turning the mysterious figure into a near-mythical character. Week after week, fans tuned in, eager to discover the identity of the racing driver who fearlessly pushed new cars to their limits and taught less skilled celebrities the art of the ‘hot lap’.

Show host Jeremy Clarkson would introduce the Stig with the enigmatic phrase “Some say…” before each appearance. Therefore, it’s only fitting for us to suggest that “Some say he wears a racing suit on weekends…and spoke at the recent ‘Met Mess Dinner’.” Because the other guest of honour that night, alongside our own Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master, RW Bro Matt Hampson, was Perry McCarthy, more commonly known as the original and ‘Black Stig’ (the original Stig had black racing overalls).

Perry proved to be an excellent after dinner speaker, regaling the room filled with eager guests with candid and humorous stories. He shared anecdotes about the chaotic behind-the-scenes world of Top Gear and the comical mishaps that unfolded during his time as the Stig and as a Formula One driver. His journey to the pinnacle of motorsports, despite a humble upbringing in London’s East End, is a remarkable tale of determination and passion. The audience was well entertained but also got to engage in a follow up Q&A session, as Perry fielded several interesting questions from the invited Formula One Lodge No 4168 table too.

The Met Mess Dinner, held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel, near the Tower of London, remains a highlight of the Masonic calendar. The evening featured a Prosecco and drinks reception, followed by a sumptuous dinner. Afterwards, Perry McCarthy, the very epitome of approachability, joined the remaining guests at the bar, ensuring the night remained vibrant and memorable.

Credit goes to the Metropolitan Events team for putting together a highly successful evening. If you’re curious about the Metropolitan Officers’ Mess and its upcoming events, please reach out to Martin Vidler at Annual Membership, at just £10, is open to all Metropolitan Officers, present and former, former Senior Visiting Officers, as well as Visiting Officers. The Met Mess provides a unique opportunity twice a year to dine, converse, and be entertained by distinguished speakers in a relaxed atmosphere, making it a must-attend event for Masons, friends, and colleagues alike.


This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 53 December 2023 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 53 here.