'Great British Bake Off' Channel 4 Finale Draws 7.7M Viewers, Judge Reveals Winner Early

Credit: Channel 4/PA
'The Great British Bake Off'

The ratings gave the U.K. network its biggest overnight audience in five years.

The final episode of the first season of The Great British Bake Off on U.K. network Channel 4 on Tuesday night pulled in the channel's biggest audience of the season with an average 7.7 million viewers in the overnight ratings.

That made it Channel 4’s biggest overnight performance in five years, namely since the Paralympic Games opening ceremony in 2012. The audience peaked with 8.9 million viewers.

The overnight season average of 6.2 million viewers is Channel 4’s biggest in more than six years for all viewers, as well as people age 16-34.

"Taking account of time-shifted viewing on a television over a seven-day period, the series is currently attracting a consolidated audience of 8.9 million viewers and a 33.4 percent share of audience per episode — rising to 10.4 million viewers with the addition of linear repeats," Channel 4 said Wednesday in a statement. "Bake Off has become the biggest series for young audiences on any channel this year, averaging 2.5 million viewers/54.3 percent share of audience per episode."

Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4, also lauded the ratings. “It’s testament to the phenomenal appeal of The Great British Bake Off that almost nine million people watched Sophie triumph as Channel 4’s first-ever Bake Off winner — a fitting finale to the most watched series for young viewers on any channel this year," she said. "[Producer] Love Productions, along with [presenters and judges] Paul [Hollywood], Prue [Leith], Noel [Fielding] and Sandi [Toksvig], have served up a showstopper of a series, and I’m delighted that they’ll all be back in the tent on Channel 4 next year.”

But Bake Off judge Leith was forced to delete a tweet on Tuesday, in which she named the winner of this season before the final episode aired. She apologized in a follow-up tweet, saying: "I am so sorry to the fans of the show for my mistake this morning, I am in a different time zone and mortified by my error."

Leith later also told the Press Association that she was overseas and confused by the time difference. "I’m in Bhutan," she said. "The time difference is massive. I thought that they got [the show] six hours ago. I’m in too much of a state to talk about it. I fucked up."

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