Competition series tracking ahead of channel’s slot average for 2021

The beige apron, whiff of sawdust, and chisel and wood planer resting expectantly on the workbench in woodwork class installed nothing but fear into certain cack-handed schoolboys – and now Channel 4 has gone and made a series about it, to decent effect.

The debut series of Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker reached the quarter final stage on Thursday at 8pm with 1.1m/8%; 99,000 +1. It nipped past Channel 5’s new series of Inside the Tower of London’s 1.1m/7%; 71,000 +1, which was 206,000 more than the previous series launch which opened with 800,000/4%; 117,000 +1 at 8pm on 14 October 2020.

However, BBC2’s cooking double bill beat both. Mary Berry: Love to Cook at 8pm achieved 1.7m/11% followed at 8.30pm by Nadiya’s Fast Flavours (1.6m/11%).

After four weeks, Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker is averaging 1.3m/9% (incl +1) – ahead of C4’s 2021 slot average up to 14 October of 1.1m/6%. The series is averaging 809,000/11% ABC1 adults, more than the slot average (584,000/7%).

At 8pm on Tuesday, C4’s eighth episode of The Great British Bake Off achieved 5.2m/29%; 314,000 +1 at 8pm for 75 minutes – this series’ best overnight rating so far.

It won the slot, as is traditional, defeating ITV’s Coronation Street opposite for an hour (here because of international football from 7pm on Friday) with 3.6m/20%; 113,000 +1.

BBC2’s The Lakes with Simon Reeve launched with 2.2m/14% on Sunday at 9pm, ahead of C4’s drama Close to Me (600,000/4%; 86,000 +1) and C5’s two-hour doc Adele: From 19 to 30 – In Her Own Words (1.1m/8%; 62,000 +1).

The Lakes achieved 793,000 fewer than last autumn’s two-part series Cornwall with Simon Reeve on 8 November 2020 (3m/14%) but was par in share.