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"Fair and Unbiased"

So, Top Gear's man of mystery, the Stig, has unmasked himself in order to sell his book. The BBC is objecting to the publication of the book on the grounds that it breaches contractual and confidentiality agreements.

HarperCollins, the would-be publishers of the book, have issued a press release in which they say that they "are disappointed that the BBC has chosen to spend licence fee payers' money to suppress this book".

Remind me again who owns HarperCollins, and why they might want to make political capital at the BBC's expense in the run-up to the renegotiation of the BBC charter, and possible abolition of the license fee.

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I thought The Stig was pretty definitively a bunch of different drivers?

Clarkson reminds me of Julie Burchill; having the knack of making people want to rip the newspaper in half or punch the TV screen is good for sales and publicity. the homophobia is distateful - remember when they painted gay slogans over one of the cars while they were driving through the deep south and staged a stoning. but yes, the whole thing is very like fox hunting (the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible) and a waste of brain cells.

No way is Clarkson anywhere near as bad as Burchill.

What about Julie Bindel?

(the computer scientist in me wants to know if the 'objectionable' relation is a total order or a partial order)

Don't know anything about Bindel.

I'm always really confused by people who get upset over Clarkson. He is just a tv entertainment journalist. His job is to make comments which get people interested. There are so many more important things to worry about in the world.

I really don't think he influences public opinion all that much.


Back to the Stig: If HarperCollins are plastering "TopGear" all over their book without permission then the BBC have a complaint. I'm not happy about a confidentiality clause lasting much longer than the work on the programme and don't think the BBC have any reason to sue him personally.

But seriously, is this going to benefit the BBC in any way? Maybe they have to do it merely to stop other people using their brands :-(


But, the BBC don't have to defend their brand. "Top Gear" is a registered trade mark. I guess they just dont want to have to hire another driver.

Maybe they have to do it merely to stop other people using their brands :-(

It's a trademark - it needs to be defended.

It's registered, and that's largely a myth anyway:

Given that the BBC is still showing Top Gear, and they sell random Stig brandged crap in supermarkets there's real no risk of them losing the trade mark.

They might quite reasonably want to stop Harper Collins from profiting from Stig-braded crap though, that's BBC Worldwide's function.

and actually, trademark lawyers of my acquaintance tell me trademarks don't need the kind of vigorous but stupid defence they get due to that belief ;-)

it's an irregular verb, surely ;-)

I'm sharp and funny if near the bone
you make jokes of dubious humour
he/she is objectionable and offensive

depends on which issues you find triggering, I think ;-)

Hm, I've not seen the other episode people said was offensive, but I did see that US one - what exactly offended you about it?

It took the piss out of sub-masondixie bigots, and I guess that's a well worn stereotype, but having been to Georgia I can assure you that it's based on reality.

For some reason I'm reminded of the "Honk While I Reload" bumper sticker than nmg and I saw while driving through Florida - stay classy America :)

It would have been less intimidating if it wasn't for the quantity of truck-mounted gun racks.

Several years later, while in Santa Cruz (according to Ted Nelson, the most bohemian town in the US), I saw a license plate surround that simply read "YOGHURT KILLS".

That's some cultural divide.

Indeed, 'tis a bigish place.

Some American cities are among my favourite places in the world (NYC, Boston, SF), and some my least favourite (LA, Las Vegas, most of Florida).

I've been to Georgia, both Carolinas, Florida and a fair few other states between the east coast and the mid west and it's the usual mix of bigot and non ;-) the whole notion that provoking homophobia was something to do for entertainment offended me; that you paint a car pink and write fag on it and (I believe it was staged) get people to throw stones and attack it. they're not doing it for consciousness raising, they're doing it for ratings.

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