by Mike Masnick
Thu, Sep 2nd 2010 1:30am
The incredibly popular UK BBC TV show Top Gear has been involved in a legal fight with publisher HarperCollins over the plans to publish a book revealing the identity of "The Stig," the always secretive test driver who appears in the show unidentified in a racing suit and helmet. The BBC spent its (publicly-funded) money to try to prevent such a revelation, but the UK courts have pointed out the basic free speech rights involved, and allowed racecar driver Ben Collins to admit that he's The Stig and have his autobiography published. Of course, in watching this battle unfold, I was confused as to why the BBC was going after HarperCollins, rather than targeting Ben Collins directly (and, by the way, I'm assuming the "Collins" in both names is a coincidence). Either way, as HarperCollins notes, this does appear to be a victory for free speech. In the meantime, if the BBC is really so upset that "the mystery" is gone, why not just get a new once-again secret Stig? In fact, the BBC has actually done exactly that in the past, dumping Perry McCarthy as the original Stig after his identity was revealed.
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