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M6 embroiled in French Peking Express scandal

French commercial broadcaster M6 is suing two former Studio 89 Productions staff for defamation after they said the latest season of the reality adventure format Peking Express was staged.

M6 production subsidiary Studio 89 has the French rights to Belgium Kanakna Productions’ format, Peking Express, which has been described as a combination of The Amazing Race and Survivor ad is distributed by the Sparks Network. The show is now in its third season.

M6 is taking legal action following a story published last Wednesday in satirical weekly newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné. In an article in the paper Philippe Bartherotte and Christophe Gallot, who formerly worked as journalist and project chief on the series, asserted the current third season, The Inca Trail, was completely fake and counterfeit.

"Editorial orders are given by Studio 89 to the journalists charged to follow the candidates before each stage. So that they know if the need to help some teams progress or not depending on audiences needs," the ex Studio 89 staffers said.

The former collaborators say they tried to alert the network before resigning. M6 and its production company are protesting and denying any improper behaviour.

Launched on January 22nd, Peking Express The Inca Trail is a success for M6 as the show gathers between 3.5 and 4.1 million viewers and a 15 % audience share) each week.