The Stig accuses BBC of 'bullying' him out of Top Gear role
Ben Collins, the racing driver recently unveiled as Top Gear's The Stig, claims he was treated like a "prop" by producers and bullied out of his role on the BBC show.
The 35-year-old left his position after winning a legal battle enabling him to publish a book which revealed his identity, previously a closely-guarded secret.
He claimed that he decided to write the book after the press identified him as the overall-clad driver, in the belief that the BBC would replace him because his secret had been revealed.
When he told managers of his plan, Collins claims he was "threatened" that publishing the book could cost him his job, despite the corporation having previously pictured him in an article about The Stig's identity.
He told the British newspaper 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."
He said he had gone to great lengths throughout his time on the show to disguise himself, even wearing a balaclava to work, but that the article caused the Top Gear team to raise questions about whether he could carry on.
He added that the show's executive producer Andy Wilman "has since said I was the same as a Dalek or the Blue Peter dog."