It seems viewers prefer to tuck into a slice of cake-baking fun than to be reminded of the dangers of overeating, as BBC2’s Great Comic Relief Bake Off was watched by more than twice as many people as Channel 4’s Embarrassing Fat Bodies on Monday night.
The charity spin-off from popular cookery competition The Great British Bake Off – featuring comic cooks including Jo Brand and Stephen K Amos – drew an average audience of almost 3.8m, a 14.9% share, between 8:30pm and 9:30pm on BBC2 and BBC HD, compared with Embarrrassing Fat Bodies’ 1.56m (5.8% share) in its 9pm-10pm slot, which overlapped Bake Off for half an hour.
Wild Things, C4’s new attempt at making botany cool, also gave away viewers to the BBC2 show in its half-hour slot between 8:30pm and 9pm, while Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother maintained a healthy audience for the broadcaster of 2.56m (9.5%) between 9pm and 10pm.
There are signs that Bake Off may have taken a bite out of Miranda’s audience too – the BBC1 sitcom’s impressive 6.4m (23.1%) for its penultimate episode (9pm-9:30pm) was nevertheless it’s lowest of the series so far.
ITV detective drama Lewis was watched by 6.3 million viewers (23.3%) in its 9-10pm slot, keeping pace with Miranda between 9pm and 9:30pm but losing out in its second half to the comedy phenomenon that is the Bafta-winning Mrs Brown’s Boys. The BBC1 sitcom starring Brendan O’Carroll drew 7 million viewers, a 26.5% share, between 9:30pm and 10pm.
Despite its success, The Great Comic Relief Bake Off has some way to go to compete with the main show. The season three final in October was watched by an overnight audience of 6.5m, with the series as a whole averaging a tasty 5m per episode.