Bake Off champion Nadiya nearly quit before it even started

Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Jamir Hussain has revealed she nearly quit the show – before even starring in it.

Nadiya, who baked to victory in the nail-biting finale against Tamal Ray and Ian Cumming, told Hello! magazine: “Before I did Bake Off I did wonder if, after 10 years of being at home, I was work ready.

“When I was called for the final 12 I nearly rang to tell them I couldn’t do it.

“My speech when I won came from somewhere deep. It was all about the boundaries I put on myself. But with each week of Bake Off another boundary fell away until I felt completely open and free to run as far as I wanted. I feel there’s nothing I can’t do.”

Nadiya Jamir Hussain and her family


Posing with her family – husband Abdal and their children Musa, nine, eight-year-old Dawud and Maryam, five – she said she definitely wants to keep baking and cooking.

“I’d love to do telly and write a book and whatever else comes along, nothing’s sealed yet. None of this feels like work, it feels like fun,” she said, “I’m having such an amazing time, I never imagined I would enjoy it so much. I want to grab it with both hands and say ‘It’s mine!’”

She is not the only one who has gained popularity with the show. She said her husband now has his fair share of fans too.

(BBC/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon)

(BBC/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon)


“I believe he’s what you’d call a dreamboat, that’s what it says in the papers,” she said, “Or ‘the Hottie with the Cappuccino Skin!’ That’s what I call him now.

“It’s not all that surprising though because he is lovely and quite handsome.”

The 30-year-old also spoke about gaining and losing weight after having her three children.

She said: “After I was married and a mum, I got comfortable, my husband loved me, the house was warm, I was happy. I was a size 16/18.

“I decided three years ago to do something about my weight. I briefly tried meal replacements and lost a stone, but they didn’t suit me. Instead, I just ate smaller portions of food and walked a lot. I would do five miles before the kids got up and then go out again in the evening. I also drank around 4 litres of water a day. Gradually, over nine months I lost three stone.”

(BBC/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon)

(BBC/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon)


Since her win she’s been hailed as a role model to many, which she says is a ‘fantastic thing’.

“From everyone’s responses it seems I’m representing Muslims, Bangladeshis, Luton, Leeds, stay-at-home mums, wives, mothers, the list seems to get bigger.

“But it’s actually a fantastic thing that so many people on so many levels can relate to me. That feels like quite a privilege.”


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