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Ben Collins: Top Gear will 'always continue'

TVBy Sunday World
Ben Collins: Top Gear will 'always continue'

Ben Collins, who was The Stig for eight years, claims 'Top Gear' would be fine without Jeremy Clarkson.

Ben, who was the anonymous driver on the BBC motoring show until 2011, claims that while the 54-year-old presenter has undoubtedly contributed to its success, he doesn't think it would fall apart if he were to be axed.

He said: "'Top Gear' has achieved huge status and Jeremy has certainly been part of that because he's got such a big personality... He's an unstoppable force.

"But fans of the programme love it for lots of different reasons. Jeremy is certainly one of them, but not the only one.

"The Bond franchise... changes and moves forward. Top Gear will always continue... It will carry on and continue to be successful because millions of people watch it."

The stuntman fell out with the BBC when he decided to reveal his identity and publish his autobiography and admits Jeremy was not supportive of him when the broadcaster took legal action against him.

He told the Radio Times magazine: "Things will evolve one way or the other. I don't think it can be only anchored in one person."

Ben added: "I was there for eight years but it came to a natural conclusion.

"I handed in my notice and had discussions with the BBC and they decided to go to court, which was a real shame and not what I wanted.

"Was Jeremy supportive? No, he wasn't. We haven't spoken since."

Ben's comments come after Perry McCarthy - who was The Stig from 2002 to 2003 - said the show would fall apart without Jeremy, who was suspended last week after being involved in a "fracas" with producer Oisin Tymon over a "catering issue".

He said previously: "I think you're going to have a diluted product. I don't think it will have the value that it did, here and overseas.

"And God help any soul who takes his place, because that's like signing up for your own firing squad.

"The only person who could take it on would be somebody who has nothing to lose."