The Great British Bake Off finale shed more than half a million viewers compared with last year’s equivalent episode, overnight ratings have shown.
An average of 6.9 million viewers tuned in to watch David Atherton crowned the winner of the Channel 4 series on Tuesday after he fended off competition from Alice Fevronia and Steph Blackwell.
Last year’s finale, which saw Rahul Mandal win, drew an average of 7.5 million viewers in the overnight ratings.
However, despite the drop in average overnight viewers, the programme had the biggest audience watching any TV channel in the 8pm to 9.15pm timeslot with an audience share of 33.2%, and it was the series’ highest-rated episode.
The programme peaked at 7.7 million viewers.
Overall viewers for the episode are expected to rise over the next seven days when the consolidated ratings are released.
The finale saw the remaining contestants tasked with producing chocolate cakes, cheese souffles and a showstopper creation of snacks created from cake, biscuit, and bread.
David went into the final as the underdog, while Steph was the bookies’ favourite to win having been named star baker four times throughout the series.
However, David impressed judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith with his bakes, particularly his souffle – which helped him come first in the technical challenge – and his showstopper offering based on a classic picnic basket.
David, a health adviser for Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), remained stress-free in the final, wanting to enjoy the long path to victory.
He missed out on the star baker accolade throughout the series, but after winning the show said: “It feels so good. It’s been weeks and weeks of intensity and fatigue and then to finish it with this.
“I saved the best ’til last, and it’s the best feeling in the world.
“Honestly, it was never in my mind that I thought I could win this. I have had daydreams of winning Bake Off for about 10 years.”