RATINGS! The Great British Bake Off 2018 final pulls in 8 million viewers

THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF SERIES 2  (SERIES 9)

The grand final of The Great British Bake Off 2018 was a ratings smash for Channel 4 last night, pulling in almost 8million viewers.

The conclusion of the baking contest's ninth series averaged 7.8million viewers between 8.00pm and 9.15pm, a 36% share of the audience.

That is slightly higher than the 7.7million viewers who tuned in to last year's finale.

It peaked with 9.1million viewers (40.7%) just before 9pm, ahead of the big result reveal.

These numbers include viewers who tuned in an hour later on Channel 4+1.

In addition, Bake Off comfortably won its timeslot, beating BBC One's Holby City (3.3million viewers) and ITV's Vera (2million, including +1).

Rahul Mandal was eventually crowned winner by judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, beating rivals Kim-Joy Hewlett and Ruby Bhogal.

In a show first, the Technical challenge saw the trio leave the tent to bake pitta breads on open fires.

There was also controversy when a glass jar exploded at Rahul's station during the Showstopper challenge.

Rahul had no option but start over, with Paul and Prue granting him a 15-minute time extension.

Bake Off's latest run was the second to air on Channel 4 following the format's switch from the BBC.

While it was a ratings hit, it failed to match the heights of C4's first outing in overnight figures.

Series nine averaged 6million viewers across its run - down from 6.6million for series eight.

Consolidated figures - which include those who watch recordings and on catch-up - will be released in around a fortnight.

Bake Off will return to our screens in early 2019 with special celebrity editions in aid of Stand Up To Cancer.

Famous faces taking part include John Lithgow, Jeremy Paxman, Rylan Clark-Neal and Caroline Flack.

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