Stig! Revealed! Mayhem!

3 Sep

So anyone with an interest in cars probably has an interest in Top Gear and thus probably knows that the Stig has outed himself.  This has led to a bit of a media furore, after Ben Collins and his publisher HarperCollins (no relation), which is ultimately owned by Rupert Murdoch by the by, won the right to disclose his identity as the Stig. This victory, his publisher said, was “a victory for freedom of speech.” Oh yeah, it’s right up there in historical moments with the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door.

All in all, it seems to be a bit of a sour move on Ben Collins’ part, if you ask me. He was integral to both Top Gear the show and the magazine and must have worked closely with these people whom he’s presumably pissed off by revealing his indentity, else the BBC wouldn’t have bothered taking the thing to court. Obviously he’s had to stand by as Jeremy Clarkson’s sold book after book, Richard Hammond’s started narrating Takeshi’s Castle or whatever they’re calling it, and James May’s illustrating how the 20th Century happened via the medium of Lego. And he, perhaps rightly, wants a slice of that pie, which presumably he wouldn’t be able to get if he went to a TV executive and said “Hello, I’m Ben Collins, the slightly anonymous racing driver, may I have a television show and some of your money.” The guy could make millions, both off the book which will presumably be staring at you from the W.H. Smith’s bookshelves come Christmas time and the probable TV career that will follow. Perhaps on some dodgy backwater of Sky. Which is owned by Rupert Murdoch by the by. But still, there should be a level of decency surely. This whiffs of Max Clifford…..

Anyway, I haven’t read the autobiography, obviously, because no-one in the outside world has, so maybe it’s all done in the best possible taste. Still, I’m a blogger, so spouting my mouth off about stuff I haven’t done enough research into is my job, and it’s a job that I plan to uphold. Still, let’s talk cars next time.

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One Response to “Stig! Revealed! Mayhem!”

  1. limey September 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    I tend to agree with your idea that its likely to be driven more by a desire to get in on the money machine that is Top Gear spin off than anything else. Of course it could be out of spite, having fallen out with the Top Gear production staff, but if that was true, I’d have expected to have seen another Stig by now.

    Its a shame this happened, but I guess it was inevitable given how long he’s been on the show. Its also been an open secret who thye Stig is since the Richard Hammond accident report was made public two years ago. So anyone with an internet connection and a certain amont of curiosity could have found out the truth pretty easily.

    I think a book by The Stig would have been a workable idea, he could have told his story as the persona but I suspect the BBC would have needed to sanction that and would have taken a chunk of the profits too. So we are back to the money motive again.

    Either way, I’m looking gorward to seeing how the TG team deal with this and how the new Stig will get introduced as I am certain there will be a new Stig now.

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