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Bake Off’s Nadiya Hussain says work still to be done for on-screen diversity

TV chef Nadiya Hussain said she feels a weight of responsibility for being a representative figure on screen (Isabel Infantes/PA)
TV chef Nadiya Hussain said she feels a weight of responsibility for being a representative figure on screen (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain said the responsibility of representing her community on TV “does weigh heavy on me”.

The British-Bangladeshi chef and cookery book author, who won the baking show in 2015, said she considered her career to be “much more than just working in publishing and television”.

Hussain, 36, told the Radio Times: “I have a responsibility to people who relate to me. People of colour. Muslims. Women. Stay-at-home mums. You name it. All of those.

Nadiya Hussain
Nadiya Hussain graced the cover of the Radio Times and discussed diversity in the TV industry (Radio Times/PA)

“There are lots of layers that make me who I am. It does weigh heavy on me sometimes. Those moments where I feel, ‘I don’t know if I can do this’ – I realise the responsibility and I say, ‘Right. Shake it off because you have a responsibility to girls like you who didn’t have representation.’ It is important – heavy, it may be, but you know, it’s something that I happily carry.”

Hussain, who fronts the BBC cookery show Nadiya’s British Food Adventure, also said while there had been an improvement in diversity across the media, there was still work to be done.

She told the magazine: “I think a lot of people are surprised by that answer, and they think that something has changed drastically within publishing and television. But really, no, I’ll still go to a meeting, and there’s pretty much always just one of me.

“And while I’m used to it, it’s still not OK. I get asked all the time, ‘Are we doing better?’ And the truth is, yes, we are seeing much more diversity in terms of publishing and television and media. But we mustn’t stop talking about it.”

Read the full interview in the Radio Times.

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