Channel 4 celebrates biggest night since 2012 as Great British Bake Off launches (but it fell below BBC's 2016 showstopper)

William Turvill
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Insects As Food Gains Popularity
The BBC lost the Great British Bake Off to Channel 4 last year (Source: Channel 4)

Channel 4 is today celebrating its biggest overnight performance in five years as it launched the new series of the Great British Bake Off.

But the broadcaster’s average of 6.5m viewers, with a peak of 7.7m, fell below 10.5m reported by the BBC at the same point last year.

The BBC lost the Great British Bake Off last year after seven series when programme maker Love Productions failed to agree terms on a new deal.

Read more: Great British death trap! Insurers blast Bake Off as "recipe for disaster"

After signing up for a new deal with Channel 4, the Great British Bake Off lost several of its big names, including Mary Berry.

Last night’s series eight debut, broadcast between 8-9.15pm, helped Channel 4 to its biggest overnight performance since the Paralympic Games opening ceremony in August 2012.

With 6.5m viewers, it almost doubled the popularity of its previous biggest hit of 2017, Diana: In her own words, which drew 3.5m.

Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s chief creative officer, said: “The Great British Bake Off’s audience last night proves it’s still one of the country’s favourite shows.

“I am delighted millions watched the new team put 12 magnificent bakers through their paces. It’s the largest share of young audiences we’ve had for a show for over a decade.”

Read more: Get set, bake: Consumers are about to go Great British Bake Off mad

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