Great British Bake Off semi-finalist Nadiya admits concerns viewers would dismiss her as 'a Muslim in a headscarf'

Nadiya is competing against Tamal Ray, Ian Cumming and Flora Shedden

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The Independent Culture

Nadiya Jamir Hussain may be a strong favourite to lift the Great British Bake Off trophy this year, but the semi-finalist has revealed that she entered the competition with concerns about how viewers would judge her.

The 30-year-old Muslim mother lives in Leeds but as her family are from Bangladesh, she worried that not being “a stereotypical British person” would threaten her chances of winning.

“Originally I was a bit nervous that people would look at me, a Muslim in a headscarf, and wonder if I could bake,” she told Radio Times.

“But I hope that week by week people have realised that I can bake - and just because I’m not a stereotypical British person, it doesn’t mean that I am not into bunting, cake and tea.”

Nadiya added that she has received positive feedback that proves “how accepting people are of different cultures and religions”. 

“I’m just as British as anyone else,” she said. “Now people know who I am, I can see how tolerant and accepting British society is.”

Nadiya will go up against fellow bakers Tamal Ray, Ian Cumming and Flora Shedden in next Wednesday’s semi-final, airing on BBC1 at 8pm.