Nadiya Jamir Hussain[1] (née Begum;[2] born 25 December 1984) is a British TV chef,[3][4] author,[5] and television presenter.[6] She rose to fame after winning the sixth series of BBC's The Great British Bake Off in 2015.[7][8] Since winning, she signed contracts with the BBC to host the documentary The Chronicles of Nadiya, TV cookery series, Nadiya's British Food Adventure[9] and Nadiya's Family Favourites,[10] co-presented The Big Family Cooking Showdown,[11] and regular contributor on The One Show.

Nadiya Hussain
Born
Nadiya Jamir Begum

(1984-12-25) 25 December 1984 (age 34)
NationalityBritish
OccupationTelevision personality, presenter, newspaper columnist, author
Years active2015–present
EmployerThe Times, BBC, ITV
TelevisionThe Great British Bake Off
The Chronicles of Nadiya
Junior Bake Off
Nadiya's British Food Adventure
The Big Family Cooking Showdown
Nadiya's Family Favourites
Spouse(s)Abdal Hussain
Children3
Websitewww.nadiyahussain.com

Nadiya is a columnist for The Times Magazine, and has signed publishing deals with Penguin Random House,[12] Hodder Children's Books,[13] and Harlequin.[14] She has appeared as a guest panellist on ITV's Loose Women.[15] She was invited to bake a cake for the 90th birthday celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II.

In 2017, Hussain was named by Debrett's as one of the 500 most influential people in the UK[16] and was on BBC News' 100 Women list.[17] She was also shortlisted for Children’s Book of the Year prize at the British Book Awards for Bake Me A Story,[18] and was nominated for Breakthrough star at the Royal Television Society Awards for The Chronicles of Nadiya.[19] A government report on community cohesion said Hussain had done "more for British-Muslim relations than 10 years of government policy".[20]

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Hussain is a first-generation British Bangladeshi born and raised in Luton, Bedfordshire, where she attended Challney High School and Luton Sixth Form College. She has five siblings, with three sisters and two brothers. Hussain's Sylheti father was a chef and owned an Indian restaurant.[21] She started wearing a hijab at age 14 to cover up her "bad hair more than anything else" because her father "cut it really badly."[22][23][24] As a teenager she was diagnosed with panic disorder and underwent cognitive behavioural therapy.[25] She revealed her mental health battles in a Sport Relief film[26] and is to tackle childhood anxiety in a forthcoming book, My Monster and Me.[5]

Hussain learned basic cooking skills at school;[11] her mother never baked and used the oven for storage. She taught herself the rest from recipe books and watching videos on YouTube. Her favourite book is a baking-themed book by Irish novelist Marian Keyes.[27]

At the time of The Great British Bake Off, Hussain was "a full-time Mum" living in Leeds with her husband, an IT specialist, and three children, while studying for an Open University degree in Childhood and Youth Studies.[28] When she won the final they moved to Milton Keynes, nearer to London, so that she could pursue a culinary career.[27]

Television careerEdit

2015: The Great British Bake OffEdit

In 2015, Hussain appeared in and won the sixth series of The Great British Bake Off which aired from 5 August to 7 October. During the final she baked 16 iced buns in three hours, as well as raspberry-flavoured mille-feuille, to one of Paul Hollywood's recipes, in two hours, and a multi-layered presentation showstopper which took the form of "My Big Fat British Wedding Cake", in a time of four hours. During her acceptance speech, she said:

With more than 15 million viewers, the final was the most-watched show of 2015.[30] Her appearance on the show, and ensuing popularity with audiences, were deemed important steps toward shifting stereotypes about the Muslim community and acceptance about cultural diversity.[31][32][33] Hussain established a large following on social media thanks to her stunning show-stoppers and her illuminating facial expressions, her online followers describe themselves as "Nadiyators" and also won backing of then Prime Minister David Cameron.[34]

On 25 December, Hussain made a cameo appearance in the BBC One show Michael McIntyre's Big Christmas Show recorded at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.[35]

2016: The Chronicles of NadiyaEdit

In August 2016, Nadiya was presenter of a two-part food travelogue, The Chronicles of Nadiya, on BBC One, in which she travels to Bangladesh to trace her culinary roots.[36] She visits her paternal grandfather's village in Sylhet in the northeast of Bangladesh. She cooked for the crew of one of the country's famous paddle steamers, and visited a riverside village where they still practise the ancient art of otter fishing. In the capital Dhaka, she helped 'Thrive', a charity delivering meals to deprived schoolchildren.[37] The first episode debuted immediately after The Great British Bake Off on 24 August, and was watched by 4.5 million viewers, a 20.5% share of all television viewers during the broadcast slot.[38] The series was nominated at the 2017 National Television Awards under 'Factual Entertainment'.[39] Hussain was nominated for Breakthrough star at the 2017 Royal Television Society Awards.[19]

In November 2016, Hussain was a judge on the fourth series of Junior Bake Off on CBBC.[40] Hussain replaced Mary Berry on the competition show in which 40 children aged between nine to twelve compete to create the best cakes and treats.[41]

On 21 December 2016, Hussain presented a two-hour cookery show at her home on BBC Radio 2 alongside Olly Smith as part of BBC's Christmas radio line-up. The show is her first new programme after signing a deal to make the BBC her 'home', rebuffing speculation she would join Channel 4's version of Bake Off.[42]

2017: Nadiya's British Food AdventureEdit

From July to September 2017, Hussain presented Nadiya's British Food Adventure, an eight-part series on BBC Two.[6] Hussain travelled across the country, visiting food producers, and then returned to her kitchen to cook using ingredients found on her journeys.[43][44][9] A tie-in cookery book, published by Michael Joseph, features new recipes that use British ingredients cooked in a Bangladeshi style, such as Masala eggy bread, Yorkshire pudding with chia seeds and aubergine pakoras with ketchup.[45]

From August to November 2017, Hussain co-presented The Big Family Cooking Showdown alongside Zoë Ball.[46][47] Hussain left the show after the end of series one to focus on her own show, Nadiya's Family Favourites, and mentioned the decision was born out of her desire to get back to cooking.[48]

2018: Nadiya’s Family FavouritesEdit

In July 2018, Hussain's second TV cookery series aired on BBC Two.[10]

2019: Time To EatEdit

Hussain is due to appear in a new upcoming six-part series on BBC Two, Time To Eat.[49] The show will include various 'time-saving kitchen hacks' and recipes designed to save time and allow families to stay within budget.[50] The show's air date has not yet been confirmed, but is predicted to be in Summer 2019.[51]

AppearancesEdit

Hussain has appeared as a reporter for The One Show on BBC One.[52][53]

Hussain is a guest presenter on Loose Women.[15] She announced on the programme that she had been given the honour of baking Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday cake,[54][55] an orange drizzle cake with orange curd and orange butter cream. Hussain said: "When I told the kids (I was making a cake for the Queen), the boys were great at keeping it a secret. I told my daughter and she said, 'Oh Mary Berry? You’ve made lots of cakes for Mary Berry'."[56]

On 13 August 2016, Hussain appeared as guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs,[57] and was interviewed by Kirsty Young. She opened up about her struggles as a young mother, the social isolation suffered by some Muslim women and how her confidence grew during Bake-Off. She described the racial abuse she still receives on the street and, determined to be a good role model to her children, how she responds with the "dignity of silence".[16][58][59]

On 9 December 2016, Hussain was a guest on BBC One's The Graham Norton Show.[60]

Writing careerEdit

Newspaper and magazine columnsEdit

Hussain is Contributing Editor to UK's biggest food media brand, BBC's Good Food .[61] Hussain also writes a monthly column for The Times Magazine, a part of the Saturday supplement of The Times,[27][62][63] and was previously columnist for Essentials magazine.[64]

Her recipes have also appeared in BBC's Good Food magazine,[65] The Sun on Sunday's Fabulous magazine,[66][67] The Guardian[68] and The Telegraph.[68]

AuthorEdit

Hussain was signed by UK publisher Michael Joseph, part of Penguin Random House,[12] for her debut book Nadiya's Kitchen, which is a collection of the recipes which she cooks for friends and family.[69] In 2017, Michael Joseph is published a tie-in cookery book for Hussain's primetime eight-part BBC2 cookery series of the same name, Nadiya's British Food Adventure.[45]

Hussain has written a children's book of stories and recipes, Bake Me A Story, published by Hodder Children's Books,[13] which blends updated versions of fairytales (poor "Sleepless Beauty" just needs a nice cup of cardamom-infused hot chocolate to break her curse; resourceful Jack wins the giant over with yummy bean patties) with colourful illustrations and child-friendly recipes.[2] In 2017, Bake Me A Story was shortlisted for Children's Book of the Year prize at the British Book Awards.[18] Following the success, a second cookbook and storybook compilation, Nadiya's Bake Me a Festive Story will be published in October 2017.[70]

The 2016 chart of the Top 100 Food & Drink books by book sales, compiled by industry analysts Nielsen, placed Hussain's books Nadiya's Kitchen and Bake Me A Story in third and fourth place, respectively.[71]

Nadiya released her first novel, The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters, in January 2017 with help from author Ayisha Malik and was billed as a British Muslim take on Little Women.[14] A review published in The Guardian by Jenny Colgan sparked a fierce backlash on social media after Colgan questioned if Hussain "really need to put her name to a novel, too, when there’s only so much shelf space to go around?” and accused Hussain of being “greedy”.[72][73]

CookeryEdit

Homewares CollectionEdit

In 2018, Hussain launched her own Homeware range in collaboration with BlissHome. The collection features designs across a full tableware range, as well as spice racks, candles, aprons, oven gloves and tea towels.[74][75]

Hussain's Make Life Colourful Range from BlissHome won 'Best Brand Licensed Homewares Product or Range' at the 2019 Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards.[76]

Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthdayEdit

Hussain was commissioned by Buckingham Palace to bake Elizabeth II's cake as part of her 90th birthday celebrations. Hussain chose to bake an orange drizzle cake with orange curd and orange buttercream.[77][78]

Other commissionsEdit

Hussain was commissioned by London Dungeon to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, and created a fire-inspired loaf.[79] In June 2016, Hussain collaborated with Champneys Spa Hotel to create a special afternoon tea dessert.[80] She was also commissioned by Disney to make an Alice inspired cake for 'Alice Through the Looking Glass' themed tea party in London.[81][82]

Personal lifeEdit

At the age of 19, Hussain married Abdal Hussain, whom she had only met once before, in an arranged marriage; they married in a traditional ceremony in Bangladesh. She has spoken about her earlier struggles in being in an arranged marriage, saying "It’s tough – you are pretty much marrying a complete stranger...We had to live through the good and the bad, and have come out the other side."[83]

In December 2018, she and her husband married each other again.[84] They have two sons, Musa and Dawud, and a daughter, Maryam.[27][85][84] Hussain's birthday is on Christmas Day[86] and her sister Sadiya's birthday is on Christmas Eve.[87]

Hussain is ambassador for Starlight Children's Foundation, which supports lives of seriously ill children[88] and is also WaterAid ambassador.[89] Hussain has shown her support for Armistice Day by wearing a 'poppy headscarf', designed to commemorate the number of Muslim soldiers who fought in World War One as well as promote the wearing of the poppy amongst British Muslims.[90] In 2018, Hussain became a brand ambassador for Swarovski on a campaign focusing on female empowerment.[91]

Hussain contributed a baking recipe for the YoungMinds mental health charity's HelloYellow day, for World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2018.[92]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result
2017 National Television Awards (NTA) Factual Entertainment[39][93] The Chronicles of Nadiya Nominated
Royal Television Society (RTS) Breakthrough Star[19] Nominated
Grierson Awards Best Documentary Presenter[94] Nominated
Women in Film & Television (UK) Presenter Award[95][96] Won
British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year[18] Bake Me A Story Nominated
2018 RTS West of England Awards Factual Entertainment[97] Nadiya's British Food Adventure Won
Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards Programme[98] Won
Personality of the Year[98] Won
National Book Award Food And Drink Book Of The Year[99] Nadiya’s Family Favourites Nominated
2019 Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards Best Brand Licensed Homewares Product or Range[76] Make Life Colourful Range from BlissHome Won
Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards Programme Nadiya's Asian Odyssey Won

FilmographyEdit

BibliographyEdit

Cookery

  • Nadiya's Kitchen (Michael Joseph, June 2016) ISBN 9780718184513
  • Nadiya's British Food Adventure (Michael Joseph, July 2017) ISBN 9780718184513
  • Nadiya's Family Favourites (Michael Joseph, June 2018) ISBN 9780241348994
  • Time to Eat (Michael Joseph, July 2019) ISBN 9780241396599

Childrens

  • Nadiya's Bake Me a Story (Hodder Children's Books, September 2016) ISBN 9781444933277
  • Nadiya's Bake Me a Festive Story (Hodder Children's Books, October 2017) ISBN 9781444939613
  • Nadiya's Bake Me a Celebration Story (Hodder Children's Books, September 2018) ISBN 1444939580

Fiction

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit