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High Court case over Top Gear’s ‘Stig’ autobiography begins

Some say the BBC want to stop him printing his autobiography… all we know is, he’s called The Stig.

Image: nahtanoj via Flickr

THE BRITISH HIGH COURT has today begun hearing the BBC’s bid to try and stop Top Gear’s anonymous test driver, The Stig, from revealing his identity in an autobiography.

The broadcaster is taking legal action to try and gag the driver – who is traditionally unknown, never speaks to camera, and is never seen without his trademark white helmet and racing suit – from publishing his book in which he would, naturally, reveal his own name.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the case will proceed behind closed doors, with Mr Justice Morgan deciding that a public trial would plainly defeat the purpose of holding the hearing in the first place.

Because the public have not been permitted into the case, it is not known how long it may take to hear – though there is a chance that the case may be known today.

The BBC claims it would breach “agreed contractual and confidentiality obligations relating to the programme” if the Stig was to reveal his identity.

While the driver is credited in cognito as a full host on the show, he is understood to be privately annoyed at how the show’s three ‘human’ presenters are able to earn massive royalties from the show’s significant merchandise sales while he – despite having everything from USB keys to Easter Eggs made in his image – is unable to do likewise.

The driver also claims that the BBC’s attempt to deny him a public identity is a basic violation of his human rights.

It has been rumoured for several years that the Stig is Ben Collins, a 33-year-old former Formula Three driver. The current Stig is the show’s second: the first, Perry McCarthy, was sacked when his identity was revealed.

McCarthy wore an all-black suit in contrast to the current Stig’s all-white one.

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Gavan Reilly

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