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Updated: The Stig revealed as BBC loses case

By
Ben Collins - aka The Stig

© Rex Features

The BBC's attempt to block the publication of a book that reveals the identity of Top Gear's The Stig has been refused by the High Court.

The Stig has now been confirmed as racing driver Ben Collins.

After nearly two days of legal arguments behind closed doors, Mr Justice Morgan rejected a request from BBC lawyers to grant an injunction preventing the publication of Collins's autobiography.

HarperCollins, who plan to release the book on September 16, said that Collins, 33, has "a great story to tell about his seven years as The Stig, which will appeal to a wide audience beyond just motoring enthusiasts".

The publishers went on to call the decision a "victory for freedom of speech".

However, the BBC - who argued that the book breached confidentiality obligations - has insisted that it will appeal the verdict.

A BBC spokesman said: "The Top Gear audience has always made it clear they enjoyed the mystery around the identity of The Stig. The BBC felt it important to protect that anonymity.

"Today's judgement does not prevent the BBC from pursuing this matter to trial and it will not be deterred from protecting such information from attack no matter when or by whom it should arise."

The identity of The Stig has long been a closely-guarded secret on the motoring programme. Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton were once rumoured to be behind the famous white helmet.

Collins was linked to the role earlier this month when financial documents were obtained by a national newspaper.

> Top Gear producer blasts Stig book plans

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