Fern Britton attracted more than one million viewers to her debut Channel 4 teatime show – less than the slot average.

The former This Morning host’s new show, Fern, now occupies the 5pm slot held by Paul O’Grady before he left for ITV.

The first show in the series was watched by an average of 1,076,000, with an 8.4 per cent share, on Channel 4 and the broadcaster’s catch-up channel on Monday.

The show rated over the 900,000 average for The 5 O’Clock Show, the short-lived replacement to Paul’s chat show.

But it was a third down on the slot average for the channel, which has broadcast the popular culinary programme Come Dine With Me at 5pm.

A Channel 4 spokesperson said: “Fern has made a really promising start and we’re delighted with the programme.”