PRAGUE - The Czech film academy was left red-faced after being hoaxed into allowing a man impersonating Hollywood funnyman Jim Carrey on the stage as a special guest at its annual awards ceremonies.
"We were the victims of an elaborate hoax," the Czech Film and Television Academy (CFTA) said about the embarrassing bungle that hit the prestigious "Cesky Lev" (Czech Lion) awards ceremonies over the weekend.
Dressed up in a suit and bow-tie and bearing only a passing resemblance to the popular Canadian actor, the hoaxer managed to fool members of the academy into allowing him on stage.
The Blesk Prague tabloid daily identified the hoaxer as Hari Zinhasovic, who hails from an unspecified country in the Balkans.
The following day, embarrassed officials at the Academy continued to insist he was indeed Jim Carrey - star of box office hit comedies "Dumb and Dumber", "Ace Ventura", " The Mask" and "Man on the Moon" - but were then forced to admit they had been tricked.
"We communicated with the supposed Hollywood actor's agents and he came with bodyguards and an interpreter so it all appeared very professional with nothing suggesting it was a hoax," the Academy statement said.