Simon Cowell’s Food Glorious Food has become the TV producer’s lowest-rating debut show ever.
The amateur cooking competition began with an average audience of 2.7 million viewers and gained a 12.7% share of the viewing audience between 8pm and 9pm.
Its ratings were beaten by BBC1’s Holiday Hit Squad, which aired at the same time with 3.8 million viewers. ITV’s general knowledge show The Chase also performed better with 3 million viewers, despite being broadcast at 3pm.
The show was down 46% on ITV’s average for the same Wednesday night slot over the past three months.
Food Glorious Food has been labelled “Food Laborious Food” and “Flop Glorious Flop” for its disappointing viewing figures. It has also been criticised for its obvious replication of popular BBC series The Great British Bake Off and Masterchef.
It is unlikely Simon Cowell’s show will be able to rival the ratings success of The Great British Bake Off, which attracted 6.5 million viewers to its final last year, and has versions in ten different countries.
Food Glorious Food has been described by Cowell as “like the Antiques Roadshow combined with food.” Presented by Carol Vorderman, it features Tom Parker-Bowles, Lloyd Grossman, the W.I’s Anne Harrison and former Masterchef competitor Stacie Stewart as judges.
In the show, amateur chefs compete to cook a defining British recipe that will then be made to appear on the shelves of Marks & Spencer.
Food Glorious Food is co-produced by Cowell’s production company Syco with Optomen Television, which has previously made cookery shows with Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay.
The ratings knock will come as a disappointment to Syco, which is due to renew its ten year contract with ITV for The X Factor this year. Simon Cowell’s hit Saturday night show has also received a ratings slump for the past three series.