The Great British Bake Off was the most watched programme in its slot for the second week running last night, smashing BBC1’s Holby City and ITV’s coverage of the Arsenal Champions League match in the ratings.
The hit BBC2 show drew an average audience of 5.32 million between 8pm and 9pm, according to unofficial overnights, a 23.5% share of the overall audience.
And although it was down 300,000 viewers on last week’s series four opener of 5.6m, it still saw off long-running BBC1 medical drama Holby City, which was watched by 4.31 million over the same period, a share of 19.1%
Bake Off also beat Arsenal’s European play-off game with Fenerbahce, which got a mere 2.25 million average between 7.30pm and 10pm, a 10.1% share.
Bake Off has never beaten both BBC1 and ITV at so early a stage in the series before, having always been behind one of the major channels for episodes one and two of the previous three series.
One drawback of the BBC2 show's success could be that it gets poached by new BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore for the next series. At this year's Edinburgh Television Festival, BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow admitted that BBC1 was interested in securing it and hinted that she may be powerless to prevent a switch.
Other good performers on Tuesday night included BBC1 ratings juggernaut New Tricks, which recorded a storming 7.5 million viewers between 9pm and 10pm. This was 32% of the audience.