At first glance, it seems that hundreds of people turned up to win a spot on the television show MasterChef USA and be shouted at by the celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. But something has been added to the mix.
So few people turned up to the audition in Los Angeles that an opening shot was faked.
One viewer spotted that parts of the crowd scene had been doctored and posted a screen shot on Reddit, a social news website, pointing out the duplications.
At least three groups of people have been replicated and stuck in the background, to make the crowd look bigger.
In the poorly executed doctoring job someone in a green top apparently clapping can be seen twice, as can a woman in an orange jacket raising her arms in the air. A spokesman for Reveille Productions, which produces the Fox Network show with Shine TV, admitted that the scene had been faked.
In a statement, the production company said: “We have reviewed the footage and it’s clear that the scene was enhanced in post-production.
“We sincerely apologise to our viewers and hope that they still enjoyed the show.”
The clip broadcast on Monday featured interviews with people who claimed to have travelled from every corner of America to be there, giving the impression that hundreds of people had turned up to win the show’s $250,000 first prize.
The episode appeared in the fifth episode of second series of MasterChef USA in which Ramsay, with fellow judges Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot, whittle 100 of America’s best amateur cooks down to one.
The doctored footage will be an embarrassment for Ramsay who has had a difficult time of late.
It was revealed earlier this year that he had sacked his father-in-law, Christopher Hutcheson from his company after discovering that he had raised a secret family.
Ramsay, 44, fell out with his father-in–law in November after claims he had borrowed £1.5million from the company. Mr Hutcheson, who had played a central role in Ramsay’s success, denies any wrongdoing.
In September, an American chef who was told by Ramsay on his Kitchen Nightmares television show that his restaurant would “swim down the ------- Hudson” died after throwing himself into the river. Joseph Cerniglia, a 39-year-old father of three, jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson which separates New York and New Jersey.
Ramsay has also suffered financial difficulties. He disclosed last year that he had been forced to pour £5?million into his business at the end of 2008 to keep it afloat.