Former “Stig” Ben Collins Makes Accusations Against the BBC

Ben Collins, the former Formula Three driver who “outed himself” as Top Gear‘s racer The Stig in his autobiography, has done an exclusive interview with The Sun in which he accuses the BBC of “bullying”. He cites a 2008 article by the BBC-owned magazine Radio Times, which teased “Who Is The Stig?” and listed Collins as one of the candidates. He tells The Sun: “Across the motoring world many people already knew who I was. But coming without warning, this was a snowball that couldn’t stop rolling. Now because the BBC had done it, suddenly newspapers thought it was okay to write about me too. It was the same on the internet. On one search engine, ‘Who is the Stig’ was asked more frequently than ‘What is the meaning of life’.”

Collins says he felt “expendable” after the Radio Times article emerged and claims that Top Gear exec producer Andy Willman has compared his role to “a Dalek” from Doctor Who or “the Blue Peter dog.” He decided to begin writing his memoirs last December, and in July, he informed Andy Willman of this fact. The revelation prompted a meeting with Andy and BBC Worldwide, in which, according to Collins, they told him that “they didn’t want it to happen and I stood to lose everything.”

A BBC spokeswoman has responded to Collins’ claims: “The BBC categorically refutes any accusations of bullying. Once Ben informed the BBC of his intentions, he was reminded of his confidentiality obligations and it was made clear to him that if he went ahead with the book, he would not be able to remain in his role.”

Earlier this week, Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson told the WitneyTV website that Collins was “sacked” from the show.

What are your thoughts on Collins’ interview with The Sun?See Earlier Article: Top Gear: BBC Loses Case To Block “Stig” Autobiography

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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