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BBC defends ‘protecting’ Top Gear

BBC defends ‘protecting’ Top Gear

The BBC has justified spending taxpayers' money to block the publication of the memoirs of Top Gear's The Stig by saying it is protecting its brand.

The corporation is suing HarperCollins to stop the autobiography being published. A BBC spokesman said: "This situation has come about as a result of an attempt by an external party to profit from unauthorised use of the Top Gear brand, one of the BBC's biggest and most watched shows in the UK (and) around the world."

The BBC was forced to defend itself after the publisher attacked it for using licence fee money to fund the legal action which it started after The Stig's identity was apparently compromised at the weekend.

The BBC claims confidentiality agreements stop the driver from revealing his identity.