Great British Bake Off 2014 attracts record opening viewing figures

Close to eight million people tuned in to see Claire Goodwin leave first

Jess Denham
Thursday 07 August 2014 17:03 BST
Paul Hollywood, Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins and Mary Berry are back
Paul Hollywood, Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins and Mary Berry are back (PA)

Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins and twelve eager new bakers attracted record opening viewing figures when The Great British Bake Off returned last night.

Close to eight million people tuned in for the first episode since the hit show moved to a primetime slot on BBC One.

At its peak, there were 7.9 million viewers – the Bake Off’s second highest ever audience – compared to opening numbers of 6.3 million during last year’s series.

Just 2 million people watched the programme when it first launched in 2010, but it has since risen in popularity, helped by its high profile on social media.

"Baking brought the nation together last night as record audiences flocked to BBC One to get the new series off to a flying start,” said controller Charlotte Moore.

“With lots more drama to unfold in the weeks ahead, Wednesday is the new Bake Day."

Claire Goodwin became the first contestant to leave the competition after breaking down over her chocolate orange Swiss roll.

By her own admission, Claire became overly stressed and the pressure pushed her to tears.

"Getting myself ridiculously worked up about the Swiss roll was my worst moment,” she said. Why did I cry about a cake?

"I don't know why I did, but at the time you feel very passionate about it, and everything is magnified and seems more important than it is.

“But in real life, it is just a Swiss roll, and I had a bit of a laugh about it afterwards.”

Claire, a speech and language therapist from Cheshire, said her best moment was "pulling off" 36 chocolate cherry cakes even though they "exploded" and the judges labelled them "horrible".

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