12/13/2010

Identity of Top Gear's "The Stig" is revealed; UK court refuses to enjoin breach of confidentiality clause in agreement between BBC and The Stig's loan-out company

The world now knows that "The Stig" is Ben Collins, though for years, his identity was a closely-guarded secret. Collins outed himself in his recently published autobiography, The Man in the White Suit. Collins wrote the book, and authorized HarperCollins to publish it, over the objections of the BBC which is the producer of "Top Gear," a popular British television series which featured Collins as the show's unidentified, non-speaking and always-helmeted race car driver. The Stig's identity was kept secret to add drama and humor to the series, and the agreement between the BBC and Collins' loan-out company included a confidentiality clause. The BBC relied on that clause when it sued Collins, seeking a court order that would have barred him from disclosing that he was The Stig. Collins signed that contract on behalf of his loan-out, but he did not sign it individually. For that reason, a UK High Court of Justice denied the BBC's request for an injunction.