Wednesday 18 September 2019

Nadiya Hussain says she has to prove herself as ‘brown, a woman, and Muslim’

The TV chef has spoken of the pressures she feels due to her background.

Nadiya Hussain has spoken of her mental health struggles. (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Nadiya Hussain has spoken of her mental health struggles. (Anthony Devlin/PA)

By Craig Simpson, Press Association

Celebrity baker Nadiya Hussain has said that she has to prove herself because she is a dark-skinned Muslim woman.

The winner of The Great British Bake Off and The One Show regular says she has struggled with the pressures of her ethnic and religious background.

Hussain, who has become a regular TV fixture since winning Bake Off in 2015, has revealed to Jonathan Ross that she has grappled with mental health problems.

The baker has said that entering Bake Off was her husband Abdal’s idea, to help with a panic disorder which has been affected by the pressure to prove herself.

Hussain won the Bake Off in 2015 (Lauren Hurley/PA)

Hussain said: “It’s really hard for me to be where I am and do what I do. Everything that could go wrong, can go wrong for me because I’m brown, and I’m a woman, and I’m a Muslim, so every time I try and do something there is always that element of, ‘You have to prove yourself’.”

The TV chef has said she struggles to explain her bouts of mental health trouble to her children, and is wary of social media making her anxieties worse.

Hussain revealed that the reason for taking part in Bake Off was to humour her husband, who urged the baker to use the show to ease her panic disorder.

She said: “When I entered Bake Off, I didn’t do it because I wanted to, I did it because I have got panic disorder and I really struggle, and my husband said, ‘I really want you to go off and do something without us, you’ve spent eight, nine years with us, go off and do something’. I did it to humour him.”

The full interview with Hussain can be seen on The Jonathan Ross Show on Saturday November 17 at 9.40pm.

PA Media

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