The debut of the new Great British Bake Off series has been a ratings success for Channel 4.
The channel, which is showing the baking contest for the first time after it left the BBC, saw an average of 5.8 million viewers tune in when it was broadcast.
The figures rose to 6.5 million when you factor in those watching on Channel 4 +1 an hour later.
This is Channel 4’s biggest audience for a single programme since the Paralympics Opening Ceremony in 2012.
The channel has claimed that these figures do not take into account those watching on its streaming platform All 4, so it's expected that this number will rise even higher.
Despite the big ratings for Channel 4, this is still the lowest figure for the series opener of GBBO since 2013, with the show then drawing 5.6 million viewers when it was aired on BBC 2.
The Great British Bake Off was the BBC’s most popular show when it aired between 2010 and 2016, moving from BBC 2 to BBC 1.
Last year, the show’s production company, Love Productions, announced that it would be moving to Channel 4 after a dispute with the BBC over pay.
The move spawned a large amount of controversy among GBBO fans, with many concerned that the show would lose its quintessentially British and kind-hearted tone.
Reception to the new series has been surprisingly positive so far, with viewers saying that Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig were good matches for the format.
Whilst ratings for the episode pale in comparison with the 10.4 million last year’s opener enjoyed, the figure is expected to grow as the series progresses.
Source: BBC News