Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain has said she had no desire to be a role model after winning the show, but has learned that her presence helps pave the way for others like her.
Hussain, 33, baked her way to victory in the sixth series of the cookery competition in 2015 and has gone on to become a role model for Muslim women in the UK.
She has also scooped book deals and her own TV series and created a cake for the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Hussain told The Guardian: “After Bake Off I just wanted to bake, I had no intention of being a role model or a representative.
“Why did it matter that I’m brown, a woman and Muslim?
“But now I understand – I need to be here, and it’s important for me to stay: to make space for people like me in this industry.”
The mother-of-three also told how she has experienced prejudice since she was a teenager.
She said: “Islamophobia first appeared in my life on September 11 2001.
“I was coming back from college and didn’t know what had happened.
“A white van stopped and a man got out. He spat on me, yelled a profanity, and then threw a can of coke in my direction. I cried as I walked home.
“It hasn’t stopped since.”