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BBC's 'Great British Bake Off' Ends Season 4 With Record Ratings

The Great British Bake Off - H 2012

UPDATED: The amateur baking competition drew the biggest audience since the launch of the current measurement system for BBC Two, beating a previous record held by "Top Gear."

LONDON – The season-four finale of baking competition The Great British Bake Off set an audience record for the show and its network.

It drew an average of 8.4 million Tuesday night, giving BBC Two its biggest ratings at least since the launch of the current measurement system and beating a previous record held by Top Gear, according to a spokeswoman. The previous BBC Two record under the ratings system introduced in 2002 was held by a 2007 episode of the show about motor vehicles, which had drawn around 8 million viewers.

The show's average audience amounted to a 32.6 percent share of British viewers watching TV at the time.

The peak audience came in at 9.1 million, or a share of 34.1 percent. Last year's final had attracted an audience of 6.5 million in the overnight figures and a peak of 7.2 million viewers.

The ratings juggernaut will transfer from BBC Two to BBC One, Britain's most-watched TV channel, for its fifth season next year, the U.K. public broadcaster recently announced.

The show features amateur bakers whose work is judged by experts. It has been credited with boosting interest in baking across the U.K.
 
Over its four seasons, the show has grown in the ratings. It has been the highest-rated series on BBC Two this year. As of earlier this month, it had averaged 7 million viewers.

Other recent BBC Two hits include The Wrong Mans, The Fall and Line of Duty.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai