Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Why the BBC is right to fight for the Stig

Thanks everyone for sending me this article, by Top Gear's producer Andy Wilman. I was one of the people asking why the Beeb would spend money protecting the Stig's identity. Now I'm not.

The fact is, the “waste of licence payer’s money” argument gets trotted out many times as a way of attacking the BBC, but the reality is this: the BBC is a massive organisation. It’s naïve to think it can only ever spend money on cameras, tape for the cameras, Daleks or anything else that contributes directly to what ends up on screen. The BBC also has the right to spend money on protecting the intellectual property it created, because the truth is that all that stuff – the Stig, the Tardis, the Blue Peter dog – does belong to the licence payer, and not to some opportunists who think they can come along and take a slice when they feel like it.