TV Overnights: Soaps, football, blood & baking

19 Sep 2012  |  Niall Johnson 

The remaining contestants in The Great British Bake Off (BBC Two, 9pm) definitely turned a corner for the worst last night, now resembling prisoners of war more than willing participants in a light entertainment show.

The stress and pressure of spending each weekend furiously baking in the windy, damp countryside started to take its toll. Intensive care consultant Danny wasn't even attempting to hide her trauma, instead staring at everything with a perfect balance of wide-eyed distance and psychotic intensity.

Their seven souls looked truly crushed as the once bright and airy baking tent was suddenly surrounded by dark stormy clouds, another victim of our gloomy British summer. After a signature bake and a technical bake that saw many bouts of collapsing (both conventionally and mentally speaking), judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood unleashed strudel hell for the showcase challenge.

The tension reached such a height that law student John jammed his finger in a Magimix simply to get out of the challenge. After he was rushed off to hospital, the remaining six survivors got a fresh sense of motivation, the sight and smell of fresh blood snapping them in to focus.

As Queen of Puddings Mary Berry shuffled back into the tent for the climax, a glint in her eye gave away a mischievous surprise. While no one was sent packing this week, due to John's 'blood glove' incident, there will be a double elimination next week.

This kind of madness might happen every week on The X Factor or Big Brother but a twist like this is enough to rock the Bake Off's world. The remaining contestant's expressions were a precise mix of relief and terror, equating a mild stroke. The halfway point has now been reached and any ideas of a clear winner are getting more and more uncertain. The sixth episode of the current series once again attracted a rigid 4 million viewers (BBC Two's biggest audience of the day), resulting in a 17% share.

Earlier on BBC One, the latest drama on EastEnders proved a little less tense. Billy Mitchell's luck was working against him as a social worker decided to pop around on the same day he lost his job. 7.3 million viewers (a 34% share) tuned in to see Billy substitute a tea towel for his granddaughter's nappy, making the Walford drama the most watched programme of the day.

ITV1 saw the Champions League group stage get under way from the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Spain. Real Madrid v Manchester City kicked off at 7:45pm after 15 minutes and pre match blithering from Adrian Chiles. Both sides played a tight defence for the majority of the match with the first goal being scored by Edin Dzeko in the 69th minute. This instigated an onslaught of goals which ended in a 3-2 victory to home team Real Madrid. The whole programme was watched by 4.6 million viewers (a 20% share) but peaked to 5.8 million viewers  as the scoring frenzy was under way.

Schedule stalwart Holby City continued to attract the exact  same people week in, week out. Last night saw some personal staff issues get in the way of quality patient care as Zac suffered from a bout of paranoia. 4.5 million viewers caught up with the latest slice of NHS fun, resulting in a 19% share.

Overnight data is available each morning in mediatel.co.uk's TV Database, with all BARB registered subscribers able to view reports for terrestrial networks and key multi-channel stations.

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