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article imageBBC loses battle to stop The Stig's autobiography

By Lynn Curwin     Sep 1, 2010 in Entertainment
London - The BBC has lost a legal battle to stop the publication of an autobiography revealing the identity of The Stig. Shortly before the ruling was announced Ben Collins, the man many people suspected of being the man behind the visor, left the court.
The High Court in London refused to grant an injunction to block HarperCollins from publishing the book which would disclose the popular Top Gear character’s identity.
When journalists outside the court asked 33-yer-old Collins if he was The Stig, he said he could not talk about it.
The Guardian reported that his reply, when asked if he had his helmet with him, was: "You're trying to tempt me into saying something I shouldn't."
HarperCollins director of legal services, Simon Dowson-Collins, said that The Stig had been in court on 1 September, but that the driver's identity would not be confirmed until the book launch on 16 September.
"We were very surprised the BBC took such action to prevent freedom of expression,” The Guardian quoted him as saying. “We maintained all along that the information is already in the public domain.”
A BBC spokesman said that audience enjoyed the mystery around The Stig, and that the judgment does not prevent them from pursuing the matter to trial.
Last month, it was revealed that Collins’ company listed Top Gear among its clients. The BBC responded this was not a surprise because he had been on the show and also provided drivers for it.
Only a few people, including the Top Gear presenters were told The Stig’s identity.
One presenter, James May, was a studio guest on BBC London when High Court's decision was announced.
BBC News reported that he made light of the announcement and said: "Obviously I'm now going to have to take some legal action of my own, because I have been the Stig for the past seven years, and I don't know who this bloke is, who's mincing around in the High Court pretending it's him."
Collins has raced cars and drove James Bond's Aston Martin in Quantum of Solace.
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