Tuesday 21 November 2017

First episode of Bake Off scores record high for Channel 4

The baking series debuted on its new home and has been a ratings success for Channel 4.

Great British Bake Off (Channel 4)
Great British Bake Off (Channel 4)

By Kerri-Ann Roper and Ian Jones

The Great British Bake Off’s debut on Channel 4 served up one of the biggest audiences in the station’s 35-year history, new figures reveal.

Full ratings for Bake Off’s launch on August 29 were a massive 9.5 million.

The number, which includes people who recorded the show and watched up to seven days later, is large enough to make it into Channel 4’s top 10 biggest audiences of all time.

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The Great British Bake Off

No programme on Channel 4 has achieved ratings as high as 9.5 million since an episode of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings in February 2011, which was watched by 9.7 million.

It is also the third highest audience for a Bake Off launch since the show began in 2010.

Full ratings for last year’s launch on BBC One were 13.6 million.

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The Great British Bake Off

Among the 9.5 million who watched this year’s opener were 2.7 million 16 to 34-year-olds, making Bake Off the biggest programme for young viewers on any channel so far in 2017.

Channel 4’s chief creative officer Jay Hunt said: “Bake Off has well and truly landed on Channel 4. I’m thrilled viewers have warmed to Paul, Prue, Noel and Sandi and are enjoying the exceptional standard of baking.”

The largest ever audience in Channel 4’s history was for the final episode of the mini-series A Woman of Substance, which was watched by 13.9 million viewers in January 1985.

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Simon (Bertie Carvel) and Gemma (Suranne Jones) in Doctor Foster

Meanwhile the second episode of the baking programme, which aired on Tuesday night, saw its overnight ratings eclipsed by the return of BBC One’s Doctor Foster.

The tense drama, which stars Suranne Jones, drew an average audience of 6.3 million viewers, while Bake Off managed six million.

Both numbers are likely to rise when the full ratings are published next week.

Doctor Foster fans were gripped as Dr Gemma Foster (played by Jones) had to contend with the news her ex-husband was moving back to the neighbourhood with his new wife and child.

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The Great British Bake Off

In the Bake Off tent, cancer survivor Chris Geiger became the second contestant to leave.

His baking dreams crumbled when his creations for biscuit week failed to impress judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood.

Bake Off’s overnight ratings of six million are half a million lower than the equivalent figure for last week’s launch.

:: All Channel 4 figures include those who watched on Channel 4+1.

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