The Stig's 'bully' claims
- Bang Showbiz
- 10 September 2010
'Top Gear's former The Stig claims he was treated no better than a dog or a TV prop by the BBC, who ''bullied'' him out of the role
'Top Gear's former Stig claims he was treated no better than a dog by the BBC.
Ben Collins - who starred as the unidentifiable masked driver for seven years until he was officially sacked earlier this week - claims senior boss Andy Wilman made him feel like he was no greater asset to them than a show prop.
He said: "People seemed to have got used to me doing a stunt or a slide brilliantly. If you do it right they look easy, but they're not. Yet Andy has since said I was the same as a Dalek or the 'Blue Peter' dog."
The Bristol-born stunt driver also said the corporation went some way toward revealing his identity in one of their own magazine, the Radio Times.
Ben, 35, added to The Sun newspaper: "In the November 2008 issue of the Radio Times there, alongside one unlikely candidate was a picture of me.
"I was astonished. I was being outed by the every people I worked for, yet I knew nothing about it."
Ben, 35, added that the person posing in his trademark white overalls on the cover of the magazine wasn't even him, and he knew nothing of its 'Who Is The Stig' feature.
He says he was told when he decided to pen his memoirs and expose his identity himself, the BBC told him he "stood to lose everything", then they started court action - which was ultimately unsuccessful - to stop him publishing his book.
Ben added: "I believed what I was doing was right. I wanted freedom of speech and to continue my career without being hounded. They just wanted to bully me out of contention.
"It is a travesty that a state-funded broadcaster gagged my free speech."
Ben's book, 'The Man In The White Suit: the Stig, Le Mans, The fast Lane and Me' is available from September 16.