The UK Preferred The Great British Bake Off to the Rio Olympics

The Great British Bake Off—in which amateur bakers charmingly vie for dessert supremacy in a tent parked in a bucolic meadow—has returned to BBC One for another season and remains phenomenally popular in the United Kingdom. Slightly more popular, in fact, than BBC One’s most-watched bits of the Rio Olympics.

That’s according to Deadline, which reports:

Season 7 of BBC One’s The Great British Bake Off got cooking on Wednesday with a sweet new record. Watched by an average 10.4M viewers in the 8PM slot, it drew a 47.5 share. The peak audience for the cooking competition that has risen to phenomenon status in the UK was 11.2M last night. That tops the network’s most-watched moments of the Rio Olympics, which peaked at 11.1M viewers. The Games had delayed the start of Bake Off which last year began earlier in August.


The numbers reflect the immense popularity of the show: “Last year’s finale became the most-watched television program of 2015 with 13.4M viewers,” Deadline notes. It’s not an only-every-two-years global event on par with the Olympics, but are we surprised that fancy cakes would beat out feats of athleticism that none of us will ever match? At least we can all convince ourselves we might get really, really into baking.

Senior Editor, Attic Haunter, Jezebel

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The Noble Renard

This doesn’t surprise me at all. The Great British Bake Off is somehow the best show on TV. And I’m being serious.

Nadiya is my favorite reality show competitor of all time.