Bake Off grabs 9.1 million viewers
Wednesday 23rd October 2013, 12:21AM BST.
Great British Bake Off has pulled in its biggest ever audience, with more than nine million viewers tuning in to see Frances Quinn named the winner.
The contest drew an average of 8.4 million viewers to the climax of the BBC2 last night – 800,000 more than The X Factor pulled in on Saturday night.
And the nailbiting cookery show was the biggest programme on TV last night, drawing more than twice as many viewers as ITV’s UEFA Champions League clash between Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund and BBC1′s Holby City, both seen by 4.1 million.
The hour-long Bake Off final was watched by a third of all TV viewers at the time it was screened, and at its peak 9.1 million were tuning in to see who won.
It is the last finale to be screened on the channel as it will move to BBC1 next year for its fifth series.
Quinn said she was in “complete and utter shock” after triumphing in the TV show.
Children’s clothes designer Quinn, 31, beat former model Ruby Tandoh, 21, and psychologist Kimberley Wilson, 30, in the hotly anticipated BBC2 final.
The amateur baker wowed judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry with a rainbow-style savoury picnic pie and showstopper three-tier wedding cake, inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, on last night’s show.
But she said it had been hard to keep her win under wraps for so long following the pre-recorded last episode.
“I’ve been back at work and trying to keep a poker face,” Quinn said.
“I remember watching the Wimbledon final the following week and getting so emotional… and thinking, ‘at least Andy Murray doesn’t have to hide his trophy under his bed for the next three months’.
“I’m looking forward to being able to celebrate with my incredibly close family and friends.”
Quinn, who decorated her wedding cake with edible confetti made from beetroot, mango, rhubarb and sweet potato, said she had a rest from baking after winning the show.
“I thought my blood sugar levels would go through the roof. I had a bit of a sabbatical,” she said.
She has been approached by agents and wants to produce a coffee table book.
“I don’t know what the future is going to hold but it does excite me,” she said. “What I’d love to do is combine both passions, baking and design.
Quinn, who lives in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, said she was not considering leaving her design job any time yet – but any extra cash on the back of her success will go down well.
“I’d start to get a bit more furniture in my house. The kitchen looks very well stocked but the rest of the house, not so much,” she said. “But forget millionaires, it’s going to be about creating more millionaire shortbreads.
“Work has been so, so supportive. I’m not going to say yea or nay to anything at the moment. I’ve got a mortgage to pay.”
Quinn , who had been criticised by the judges for style over substance, insisted there was no antagonism between the all-women finalists.
“We all get on. People want to feel there was more competition than was the case. The emotions you go through in that tent, you never want to see anyone get that criticism. Outside the tent we’re just supportive of each other.
The losing finalists tweeted their congratulations after the result was broadcast.
But Tandoh today hit out at what she called the “lazy misogyny” which she says the show attracted.
Earlier this week former model Ruby Tandoh clashed with TV chef Raymond Blanc when he suggested she was too thin to enjoy food.
Writing in the Guardian she said she was “surprised at just how much nastiness was generated from the show”.
She went on: “Despite the saccharin sweetness of the Bake Off, an extraordinary amount of bitterness and bile has spewed forth every week from angry commentators, both on social media and in the press.”