Very much so. Jay Hunt, the channel’s chief creative officer, said that she was “delighted” with the results.
“The Great British Bake Off’s audience last night proves it’s still one of the country’s favourite shows. I am delighted millions watched the new team put 12 magnificent bakers through their paces. It’s the largest share of young audiences we’ve had for a show for over a decade.”
Eight million? Clearly there’s no pleasing the baking silverback…
How does Bake Off’s audience compare with what Channel 4 gets normally?
On a regular Tuesday night at 8pm, Channel 4 has averaged just 1.4 million viewers this year. Bake Off pulled in four times that, and has already become the most popular show of the year for Channel 4.
Is Bake Off Channel 4’s biggest ever show?
Not yet. According to Channel 4, Bake Off is their biggest overnight audience in five years. The last Channel 4 show to be watched by more people was the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony, which recorded 7.6 million viewers.
Bake Off also still has a way to go if it’s to match the heyday of Big Brother on Channel 4, which pulled in almost 10 million viewers in the early noughties.
It’s hard to tell how many people actually switched channel during the adverts, but given the show’s audience peaked between 8:45pm and 9pm, it’s safe to say the majority of those watching didn’t immediately turn off during the first break.
Will even more people watch next week?
Probably not, if previous Bake Off series are anything to go by. Audience figures tend to dip after the first episode, before picking back up again in the build-up to the series finale.
For Channel 4, however, next week will be crucial, as that will be the true test to see whether people are sold on the new line-up.
A significant number of viewers would have tuned in this week out of curiosity, to see how much has changed since the show left the BBC. It’s only when the numbers for episode two come out that we’ll see how many of those Bake Off fans are convinced.
Bake Off will also face stiffer competition next week, with BBC1’s big returning drama Doctor Foster beginning at 9pm. How many people will keep watching Bake Off all the way to its 9.15pm finish when there’s a big draw on the other side?
Bake Off on Channel 4 has so far risen to the occasion. Let’s just see whether it can maintain its shape in the weeks to come.