HarperCollins "in frame" for disputed Stig memoir

HarperCollins "in frame" for disputed Stig memoir

<p>The publisher behind Top Gear&#39;s The Stig&#39;s contentious autobiography, which the BBC is trying to stop from being published, is understood to be HarperCollins, the Bookseller can reveal.</p><p>The BBC would not confirm who the publisher was or whether the book in question was by The Stig, the mystery stunt driver on the BBC2 show, whose identity has always been a closely guarded secret. The Sunday Times yesterday [22nd August] named The Stig as former Formula Three driver Ben Collins, based on the financial reports of his company, Collins Autosport.</p><p>A statement said: &quot;The BBC is in a legal dispute over the publication of a book relating to Top Gear as this breaches agreed contractual and confidential obligations relating to the show.&quot;</p><p>However, according to Nielsen data, HarperCollins is releasing a book on 16th September, which has the holding title <em>Untitled Motoring Autobiography</em>. When asked whether this was The Stig&#39;s autobiography, a HarperCollins spokesperson said: &quot;We are not in a position to confirm that it&#39;s our book.&quot; She said HC still planned to release the untitled book on 16th September, but refused to comment further.</p><p>Top Gear related titles have been a mainstay of the Christmas book calendar for several years, clocking up &pound;57m worth of sales to date, according to Nielsen BookScan. Richard Hammond&#39;s memoir, <em>On the Edge</em> [Weidenfeld &amp; Nicolson], was a surprise hit in 2007. Penguin have had a longstanding publishing relationship with Jeremy Clarkson and BBC Books&#39; humour title <em>Where&#39;s Stig?</em> was a cult success last year.</p>