Ratings rise well for Great British Bake Off debut on Channel 4

The Great British Bake Off

Paul Hollywood and new judge Prue Leith welcomed 12 fresh faces to the famous white tent - all of whom are aiming to be crowned Britain's best amateur baker.

Fans have been especially attentive to this season because of major alterations to the core cast.

Kasabian guitarist Serge Pizzorno has revealed that he was the one to persuade Noel Fielding to take the presenting job on the revamped Great British Bake Off.

Channel 4 poached "The Great British Bake Off", which is produced by Love Productions, in September 2016 in a three-year deal worth £75 million ($97 million).

Are you watching Bake Off 2017 and do you like the new format?

Jumping from BBC Two to BBC One for the fifth series in 2014, the audience numbers increased dramatically, with its debut episode enjoying 7.2 million in the overnights.

Each week Jo chats to a panel of celebrity Bake Off fans, looking at all the goings-on from the tent.

The show is also the channel's biggest overnight performance in five years, since The Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony back in August 2012. Expect a fruity signature challenge, and the trickiest showstopper ever set in the first week of Bake Off.

However, there was one new addition to the Channel 4 show, that wasn't quite so popular. In the Guardian, Lucy Mangan said: "The whole thing was a glorious return to - or rather, retention of - form". Parts of the website may not work as expected without them.

The picture above shows the new crew in full. On Twitter, meanwhile, viewers expressed irritation with the commercials, and didn't quite know what to make of Fielding's soft voice and spacey demeanour.

But it's not just a new experience for the bakers.

Even the harsher critics seem to second Samadder's assessment that the bakers are the real stars.

A fan Tweeted: "Flo you've stolen my heart... a watermelon cake..."

Despite the drop in viewership, Channel 4 - which generally has a lower audience share than BBC1 - appears pleased with the number.

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