It’s official: Baking is big in Britain. Really, really big. Last night’s Great British Bake Off final pulled in more viewers than any other episode of a TV show this year, with only a few World Cup games drawing a bigger audience.
With an average of 12.3 million viewers and a peak audience of 13.3 million, according to overnight figures, the Bake Off’s first ever BBC1 final was watched by 4 million more people than the 2013 climax to the show on BBC2, which drew an average of 8.4 million.
An equally striking statistic: last night’s final got a tasty 51% audience share, meaning over half of all the people watching television in its 8pm-9pm slot were tuned in to see Nancy, Richard and Luis frantically baking for sugary, doughy Bake Off triumph.
The only programmes to have drawn bigger UK TV audiences this year are a few games during the World Cup, including the England v Uruguay match. The baking competition even beat the best performances this year from Britain’s biggest shows, Downton Abbey, Sherlock and The X Factor.
Things looked good ratings-wise for the Bake Off from the beginning of the series, with the first episode proving the most-watched series opener to date.
From the phenomenal ratings it looks like Bake Off’s move from BBC2 to BBC1 was a very good one.
Now, as the nation is left with a tragic gap in their Wednesday nights, we wonder whether series six will rise to even giddier heights when it returns next year.