The Great British Bake Off is to be moved to BBC One next year as a result of its rising ratings.

The contest fronted by Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, which reaches its climax with the final of the fourth series next week, has had BBC Two’s highest viewing figures so far this year with an average audience of seven million.

BBC One controller Charlotte Moore announced the move of channels today and said it will begin for the fifth batch of shows.

She said: “It’s been fantastic to watch it flourish on BBC Two and I can assure viewers I will continue to cherish it on BBC One.”

The audience has grown from an average of 2.8 million for the first series in 2010, peaking with 7.8 million a fortnight ago – more than even last year’s final, which drew a total of 7.2 million

The Great British Bake Off – featuring experts Mary and Paul – has been credited with giving the nation a new-found interest in baking, and the format of the show has been sold to more than a dozen countries.

Moore, who originally commissioned Bake Off when she was in another role in 2009, said she thought the time was right to bring the show to ‘an even broader audience’.

“I’ve watched the series grow over the last few years and earn a special place in the nation’s hearts. It’s inspiring and warm storytelling at its best which celebrates the huge talent of enthusiastic and passionate bakers from all over the country,” she said.

Executive producer of the show Anna Beattie, who is chief executive of Love Productions which makes it, said: “We’re extremely proud that the show has captivated so many families and inspired so many people across the country and we aim to do everything we can to ensure its continuing authenticity and integrity.”

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