THE smell of cakes is filling the air; if people aren't glued to their TV screens they're stuck to their mixing bowl with icing sugar – Bake Off is back.

After 6.5 million people tuned in to catch the first episode of the new series on Channel 4 on Tuesday, the nation has been buzzing about baking and Oxford is no exception.

The Cake Shop in the Covered Market urged anyone inspired to get out the frilly apron to go to their expert team for advice and supplies.

Manager Sally Davis said: "We can give advice and sell you good-quality products which will always give good results."

And, if worst comes to worst in the kitchen, the shop also sells its own homemade showstoppers to fool your family and friends.

One person watching on Tuesday night, and who certainly will be baking in the coming weeks, is Oxfordshire's most famous Bake Off contestant Christine Wallace.

Fuelled with Bake Off fever Mrs Wallace, who lives in Didcot, is now forging ahead with plans for this year's Didcot Food Festival in October.

The 2013 quarter-finalist said: "I enjoyed the first episode on Channel 4.

"I wasn't sure it was going to work, but the format was exactly the same and I shall carry on watching."

However Mrs Wallace also said she had doubts about the show's new hosting double-act – Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding.

She said: "If I was a contestant I would miss Mary Berry and I would miss Mel and Sue because they were an integral part of the show.

"I was worried about Sandi and Noel, and when I watched it to be honest I thought they did a good presenting job but they weren't Mel and Sue.

"For me, they haven't yet quite got that thing that Mel and Sue had."

Mrs Wallace also revealed that after the episode aired she quickly went to get the gossip from the private Facebook group she shares with other former contestants.

She said: "[Series one winner] Edd Kimber said the morning afterwards how when we look back at what we made like scones and buns, the standard now is hugely different."

Overall though, she said the former contestants' club gave the new-style show positive reviews.

Julia Atkinson, who runs Happy Cakes bakery from her home in Summertown, said she was glad the Bake Off was back as the show always sparked wider interest in all things baking.

The mum-of-two said: "It encourages more conversations, I got more suggestions from people of things they've seen on Bake Off so it makes me more creative.

"For me, it just generates a general positive air about cake."