Bake Off final's viewing figures drop to lowest since Channel 4 move

Fewer viewers than usual watched the winner crowned on Tuesday.

Matty, Josh and Danny made the final of The Great British Bake Off 2023. (Channel 4)
Matty, Josh and Danny made the final of The Great British Bake Off 2023. (Channel 4)

The Great British Bake Off final's viewing figures have dropped to their lowest since the series moved from the BBC to Channel 4.

Overnight viewing figures from the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB) showed that 4.38 million viewers tuned in to watch Matty Edgell crowned the series winner on Tuesday night, down from an overnight figure of 5.1 million last year.

Edgell, a teacher from Peterborough, was the surprise champion of series 14, the first to be hosted by Alison Hammond, after a tough final fought against Dan Hunter and Josh Smalley.

Matty Edgell was crowned the winner. (Channel 4)
Matty Edgell was crowned the winner. (Channel 4)

After being handed the trophy at the grand final garden party, he said: "I don’t know what to say, everyone said you should go on Bake Off and I thought it was a throwaway comment and never really listened to it. I never thought I would be on the show let alone win it!"

The final went up against a time slot that included MasterChef: The Professionals semi final on BBC One, and Bake Off's last 15 minutes overlapped with I'm A Celebrity on ITV.

Bake Off's final viewing figures have been declining since 2020, the highest overnight figures recorded since the show's move to Channel 4 which saw 9.2 million viewers watch Peter Sawkins named the winner.

It aired during the UK's second COVID lockdown and the series had been a welcome addition to schedules for fans, who had seen many other shows postponed or cancelled because of filming restrictions that year.

By 2021, Bake Off managed seven million viewers in overnight data for the final.

The programme, made by Love Productions, had seen a big dip in viewing figures between the last final to be shown at its original home the BBC, and the first at Channel 4.

Candice Brown was the last winner for the BBC's show in 2016 and the final that she won had a record high of 14 million viewers.

Paul, Prue, Alison and Noel - The Great British Bake Off 2023 final. (Channel 4)
Alison Hammond joined the cast with Noel Fielding, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith in 2023. (Channel 4)

But a year later, the overnight figures had plummeted to 7.7 million viewers in Bake Off's Channel 4 debut series.

However, the drop in viewers in 2017 might have had something to do with a blunder by judge Prue Leith, who had replaced Mary Berry in the show's channel move.

Thanks to a time difference between the UK and Leith's holiday location on the day the pre-recorded final was shown, she managed to tweet her congratulations to series winner Sophie Faldo a full 12 hours before the episode aired.

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