The Great British ratings winner: Bake Off is the most watched show since 2012

Updated: 

The final of this year's Great British Bake Off has become the most-watched programme on television since 2012.

A total of 15.9 million people saw Candice Brown win the BBC cookery competition, new figures show.

Emotional and inspirational - essentially great telly.
Emotional and inspirational - essentially great telly (Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA)

It is the biggest TV audience recorded in the UK since the London Olympics and almost one million higher than last year's final.

It also puts this year's Bake Off final in the top 10 highest-rated programmes of the decade.

The news caps a remarkable 2016 for the hit show.

The Great British Bake Off
The Great British Bake Off's Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc (BBC/Love Productions)

Every episode of the latest series was watched by over 13 million people, making it the most popular in Bake Off's seven-year history.

Bake Off also occupies every spot in the top 10 most-watched TV broadcasts of the year.

The figures, published by research body Barb, highlight just how much of a loss Bake Off will prove for the BBC.

The 2016 series was the last to be broadcast on BBC One before the programme moves to Channel 4.

Mark Bourdillon/BBC
Candice Brown (Mark Bourdillon/BBC)

Hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, along with judge Mary Berry, have said they will not stay with the show.

Fellow judge Paul Hollywood will appear in the new version, however, and Channel 4 will be hoping he can help Bake Off hold on to its huge audience when it switches networks.

Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry (Mark Bourdillon/BBC)
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry (Mark Bourdillon/BBC)

The most-watched programme on Channel 4 so far this year is an episode of Gogglebox broadcast in February, which pulled in 5.8 million viewers.

This is roughly a third of the number who saw the Bake Off final.

Here is a list of the 10 biggest TV audiences of the decade so far, compiled by the Press Association from figures published by Barb:

1. Olympics 2012 closing ceremony (August 12 2012), BBC1: 24.5 million

The Spice Girls perform during the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 London Olympics at the Olympic Stadium.
The Spice Girls perform during the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics (Andrew Milligan/PA)

2. Olympics 2012 opening ceremony (July 27 2012), BBC1: 24.2 million

The London Olympic Games 2012 Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London.
The opening ceremony (Tony Marshall/PA)

3. Euro 2012: England v Italy (June 24 2012), BBC1: 20.3 million

England goalkeeper Joe Hart fails to stop the final penalty
England goalkeeper Joe Hart fails to stop the final penalty (Anthony Devlin/PA)

4. The X Factor (December 12 2010), ITV: 17.7 million

5. Olympics 2012: men's 100m final (August 5 2012), BBC1: 17.3 million

Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates winning during the men's 100m final
Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates winning during the men's 100m final (Dave Thompson/PA)

6. Euro 2012: England v Ukraine (June 19 2012), ITV: 16.4 million

England's Steven Gerrard takes a break from the action
Steven Gerrard takes a break from the action (Empics/PA)

7. The X Factor (November 21 2010), ITV: 16.1 million

8. The Great British Bake Off (October 26 2016), BBC1: 15.9 million

9. World Cup 2010: England v Germany (June 27 2010), BBC1: 15.8 million

England's Steven Gerrard (left) and Wayne Rooney (right) appear dejected after the final whistle.
Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney appear dejected after the final whistle (Martin Rickett/PA)

10. The X Factor (November 14 2010), ITV: 15.7 million

All figures are consolidated ratings and include people watching catch-up services.