The media has been hot with reports of the unveiling of the Stig. Petrolheads will know this character from BBC Two car show Top Gear, more recently however the Stig and more importantly who actually is the Stig has recently been the cause for a High Court battle.
Publisher HarperCollins were due to publish a book that revealed the identity of the person behind the Stig, however BBC brought an application for an injunction preventing them from doing so. The case itself was heard in a closed court and BBC argued that the book would breach confidentiality obligations, Robin Shaw the solicitor for HarperCollins stated the following: “The judge has said he is not going to grant an injunction in this case. Reasons are to follow and will be given in a private judgement.”
The BBC on the otherhand stated that: “The Top Gear audience has always made it clear that they enjoy the mystery surrounding the identity of The Stig and the BBC felt it important to do all it could to protect that anonymity. The BBC brought this action as we believe it is vital to protect the character of The Stig which ultimately belongs to the licence fee payer. Today’s judgement does not prevent the BBC from pursuing this matter to trial and the BBC will not be deterred from protecting such information from attack no matter when or by whom it should arise”.
It is a shame that we will not be able to see the judgement itself which would make for interesting reading, it seems unlikely that the BBC could have succeeded in their case and it is more intriguing that the BBC’s statement suggests that we may not have heard the last of this particular dispute.