Four million tune in as the Great British Bake Off gets nasty
23:39 GMT, 15 August 2012
The last time it was on, it sent sales of three-tier cake stands, baking tins and muffin trays soaring.
And judging by the numbers who tuned in for its return, viewers haven't lost their appetite for the Great British Bake Off.
Almost four million watched the first episode of the new contest on Tuesday – 700,000 more than for last year's opener.
Almost four million people watched the first episode of the new series of the Great British Bake Off, presented by Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry
The BBC2 series pits 12 contestants against each other to find the nation's best amateur baker. Add a 'Mr Nasty' head chef and you have the perfect recipe for a TV hit.
Although the baking is as competitive as ever, some viewers claim judge Paul Hollywood – former chef at The Dorchester – is tougher than ever.
One fan, Helena Legget, tweeted: 'Has Paul Hollywood always been this mean He's making me nervous.'
Another viewer, Karen Stewart, added: 'Why is Paul Hollywood being a bit nasty Don't want increasing harshness, give him a poke.'
Even the contestants have admitted they are worried by his withering glances and harsh comments.
Cathryn, 27, from West Sussex told Radio Times: 'Paul Hollywood, honestly, he really frightened me.
'He's just so unnerving – it's
definitely the eyes and the way he moves around silently and looks at,
touches or smells something and says nothing! He has a completely pan
face and never gives anything away. You just wish you knew what he was
Peter, 42, from Windsor added: 'Paul doesn't pull any punches. I think
he sometimes forgets that this is an amateur baking competition.
Occasionally I felt he went a little bit over the top.'
for this year's opening episode were more than a million higher than
BBC2's average for the 8pm slot. Last year five million watched the
final to see a young grandmother crowned the winner.
Wheatley, 41, from Essex won over the judges with her mini Victoria
sponges, white chocolate and raspberry pistachio meringues and mini