Great British Bake Off hits highest ratings Channel 4 has seen since 1985

Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas in the Bake Off tent.Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas in the Bake Off tent.
Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas in the Bake Off tent.
Series 11 of The Great British Bake Off takes off with a bang as Channel 4 records highest viewing figures in over three decades.

Last week saw the series 11 opening episode of The Great British Bake Off reach viewing figures of 10.8 million, the highest of any programme shown on Channel 4 since 1985.

The broadcaster also recorded the biggest overnight launch audience for the series since its move from the BBC, with rating figures averaging 6.9 million viewers.

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The biggest-ever audience recorded in Channel 4’s history remains at 13.9 million, which was in 1985 for the mini-series A Woman Of Substance.

In 1995, the TV premiere of the film Four Weddings And A Funeral on Channel 4 attracted 12.4 million.

The new series started later than originally scheduled to avoid a clash with an address to the nation about coronavirus from the Prime Minister, and saw new presenter Matt Lucas make his debut, replacing former co-presenter Sandi Toksvig.

The episode opened with a skit featuring Lucas impersonating Boris Johnson, wearing a blonde wig and standing at a lectern featuring the slogan: “Stay Alert, Bake Cake, Save Loaves.”

On Tuesday night Mak, 50, an accountant from Greater Manchester, became the second amateur baker to be axed from the competition after Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith were left unimpressed by his “clumsy” teapot showstopper.

Production was initially put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, but filming finished at the end of August.

The bakers, presenters and others working on the programme formed a “bubble” in Down Hall Hotel in Hertfordshire for the duration of filming, after being tested for the virus and self-isolating.

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