The Great British Bake Off debuts with lowest ratings since 2013 - but viewers loved it

Stephanie Soteriou

Last night saw the much-anticipated launch of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4, with the programme being at the centre of a huge controversy last year when it was poached from its home on the BBC.

With hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, and judge Mary Berry, stepping away from the Channel 4 version, Bake Off fans were anxious to see how newbies Noel Fielding, Sandi Toksvig, and Prue Leith would fare during last night’s premiere.

The show had its lowest rated launch show since 2013. Copyright: [Channel 4]
The show had its lowest rated launch show since 2013. Copyright: [Channel 4]

However, it seems as though some fans might be boycotting the show following its move, with last night’s episode having Bake Off’s lowest ever launch night ratings since 2013.

Channel 4 managed to pull in 6.5million viewers with an audience share of 30% last night, however, last year’s launch averaged 10.5million viewers, up from 9.3million for 2015’s launch and 7.2million for 2014’s.

Last night only managed to trump the 2013 series launch, which had an average of 5.6million viewers.

Channel 4’s outgoing creative chief, Jay Hunt, previously admitted that he’d be happy with any viewing figure above 3million, meaning that he is no doubt thrilled with the show’s success.

The show launched on the BBC in 2010. Copyright: [BBC]
The show launched on the BBC in 2010. Copyright: [BBC]

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV festival last week, he explained: “[Bake Off] breaks even at around three million, so anything north of that would be fantastic.

“If it gets six, seven [million], I would be absolutely delighted.”

For those who did tune in, Channel 4’s Bake Off secured the viewers’ seal of approval, with fans and critics praising the show, which largely sticks to the BBC version’s format.

Fans praised the show’s Channel 4 debut. Copyright: [Twitter]
Fans praised the show’s Channel 4 debut. Copyright: [Twitter]

With #GBBO being in the top Twitter trends all night, here are some of the best tweets about the show:

The Great British Bake Off first premiered on BBC Two in 2010, with it moving to flagship channel BBC One due to its unprecedented success.

Last year Channel 4 bought the format from Love Productions, paying a staggering £75million for a three-year deal.

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Read more:

[ Sue Perkins throws shade at Bake Off as she reunites with Mary Berry ]

[ French and Saunders ‘turned down seven figure sum’ to present Bake Off on Channel 4 ]

[ Mary Berry refused to even meet with Channel 4 bosses ]