By Fergus Sheppard
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and the makers of the hit TV show Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares yesterday accepted libel damages of £75,000 after a newspaper claimed the programme was cynically faked to make average restaurant kitchens look like "public health hazards".
The libel action followed a story in the London Evening Standard last November by television reviewer Victor Lewis-Smith. The newspaper claimed that an episode of the series set in a West Yorkshire restaurant had been guilty of "gastronomic mendacity" by installing an incompetent chef and engineering various kitchen disasters.
The High Court in London was told the article suggested Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares "specialised in cynically faking scenes to make average restaurants look like public health hazards, driving some out of business".
However, the newspaper yesterday apologised to the fiery Glaswegian chef and Optomen Television, makers of the programme, after admitting the article was untrue.