BBC, Harper Collins enter legal fight over book revealing identity of The Stig

Publisher Harper Collins and BBC have entered a legal battle over a book that reveals the identity of Top Gear's The Stig, with both sides on Monday appearing in London's High Court. BBC earlier confirmed it would try to block the publication.

The Stig is always seen on the BBC Two show with his helmet on. He never removes his helmet. The BBC contends that the book's publication breaches contractual and confidentiality obligations.

Harper Collins on its part says it would strongly defend its right to publish the book.

The dispute has come at a time when speculation is rife in newspapers that the character's true identity is Ben Collins, former Formula Three driver.

The conjecture is based on the financial reports of his company.

The publisher has meanwhile confirmed that it is being sued by the broadcaster over the impending publication of the book.