The Great British Bake Off 2017 on Channel 4 averaged 6.5 million viewers for its very first episode.
Last night saw the opening of Bake Off’s eighth series having moved homes from BBC One to Channel 4.
And with the channel move came some new changes.
Restaurateur, food writer and novelist Prue Leith joined Paul Hollywood as judge, replacing Mary Berry, while Sandi Toksvig OBE and Noel Fielding replaced Mel and Sue as hosts.
Plus there were the adverts.
The show averaged 6.5 million between 8PM and 9:15PM, peaking with 7.6 million viewers.
It’s down around 4 million viewers on the opening on 2016’s series on BBC One and around 8 million below what the last BBC series ended with.
While it’s a big drop, Channel 4 are still likely to be very happy if the show can continue at its new level for the rest of the series.
This week, the broadcaster’s chief creative officer Jay Hunt revealed the show will earn its money back with just 3 million viewers.
“If it gets, five, six, seven [million] then I’ll be absolutely delighted,” she said at the Edinburgh TV Festival.
“I think we’ve been very clear, this show is breaking even for Channel 4 at around three million. Anything north of that would be fantastic.”
Elsewhere last night, the new series of Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls started with 1.9 million viewers straight after Bake Off.
Both shows return to Channel 4 next Tuesday night.