'Bake Off' launch suffers lowest viewer ratings since 2013

Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and Noel Fielding. (© Love Productions)

The first episode of The Great British Bake Off has shed 400,000 viewers in the overnight ratings, compared to the series launch last year.

The 90-minute episode drew an average of 5.7 million viewers, peaking at 6.6 million, Channel 4 said.

The channel won the time slot with a 30.6% share even though these are the lowest overnight ratings for a launch since 2013, when the first episode of the series drew 5.6 million viewers to BBC Two.

Last year the first episode of the series drew an average of 6.1 million viewers, peaking at seven million.

Tuesday night's instalment saw support worker Dan become the first baker to be axed from the show.

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He got the chop after serving up a raw fruit cake to judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood.

Afterwards he said: "I love fruit cake and it hasn't put me off making one, but next time I won't make it in three hours.

"I love the long process of making a Christmas cake and I feed it over the weeks and it always turns out a beautiful cake. I get lots of compliments from the family at Christmas!"

He had better luck in the showstopper challenge, whipping up a pirate island cake complete with dry ice waterfall as the birthday cake of his childhood dreams, but he knew his fate was already sealed.

He said: "It's the nature of the show when something goes wrong on that particular week, you've had it, and I understand how the show works and I felt it was the right decision that I should go.

"My best moment overall was meeting the other bakers, and that was one of the reasons I was sad to leave.

Dan was the first baker to leave the tent. (Love Productions)

"I knew I was going to miss talking to people that felt like I did about baking, and we bonded instantly. It was very strange but very lovely at the same time.

"My worst moment was the signature (challenge) for me, so I knew my showstopper had to totally wow to save me, and that was a lot of pressure.

"When I heard that the judging wasn't amazing, I really knew I was going, so I was prepared for it when they announced it.

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The first episode saw print shop administrator Michelle, 35, named star baker after whipping up a carrot cake so delicious Leith asked for the recipe.

After sampling the cake, Leith said: "This is the 10th anniversary of The Great British Bake Off and what a way to start!"

Dan will join Jo Brand and Tom Allen on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on 30 August on Channel 4 at 8pm.