Nigella Lawson's new show The Taste lost nearly half its audience in its second week on air.
The Channel 4 cookery programme began last week with an impressive 1.8 million viewers, but on its second episode this Tuesday that figure dropped to one million.
The Taste, which sees celebrity chef Nigella, French master chef Ludo Lefebvre and American food maverick Anthony Bourdain judge dishes based on blind tasting only a single spoonful, attracted a 4.2% audience share from 9pm, compared with the opening week's 7.5%.
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The blow comes after Nigella has been caught up in a media frenzy surrounding her acrimonious divorce from Charles Saatchi and the court case in which her former assistants, sisters Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo, were accused of fraud.
The second of the ten-part series saw the elimination of one of the contestants after the hopefuls had rustled up their interpretation of a classic dish.
Kalpna had created "spiced fish and chips with pea sauce", using a chick pea and beer batter, while Nigella’s other protégé Claire had made steak tartare "Thai style".
Irish hopeful Barry – also on Nigella's team – was the one ousted from the show after preparing the classic Italian dessert, tiramisu, which, Nigella said, was "all bought".
The danger of the show's original format – judges blind tasting the delights created by the aspiring chefs – is that judges can send their own team members home.
Twelve candidates are through to next week. Each judge will mentor four of them to success.