Frau Blucher wrote:
How many shows really bed in the first season? They got the gig for another season and the rest is history. Until they outstayed their welcome and then it all went to shit. Until recently.
So that still means the reaction of the internet if it had existed at the time would have been about the same as the general reaction was at the time (after all, no one watching knew it would go on to become a great show any more than they would have if they'd had the internet).
Craig Charles likes to joke that the number of people he's met over the years who have told him they were there from the start and always loved the show outstrip the first years ratings by a huge margin.