Nadiya Hussain, winner of The Great British Bake Off, has told BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs that racial abuse has been part of her life “for years”.
Speaking to presenter Kirsty Young, Hussain, 31, revealed she’s received abuse after “massive things happen” in the news, starting from the 2001 September 11th terrorist attacks.
“I feel like that’s just become a part of my life now. I expect it. Absolutely I expect it,” she said.
“I feel like there’s a dignity in silence, and I think if I retaliate to negativity with negativity, then we’ve evened out,” she continued. “And I don’t need to even that out because if somebody’s being negative, I need to be the better person.”
“Because I’ve got young children, the one thing I don’t want my kids to do is have a negative attitude to living in the UK because, yes, there are those negative people, but they are the minority.
“If I continue to be a good role model for my kids, that’s what’s really important because I feel like that’s what will resonate with everyone.”
Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain on the front cover of the latest issue of Radio Times
Hussain is set to present her own BBC1 series The Chronicles of Nadiya after winning Bake Off last year. She is also the cover star on the new issue of Radio Times, in shops from Tuesday 16 August.
“I love being British and I love living here and this is my home and it always will be,” she said on Desert Island Discs. “Regardless of all the other things that define me, this is my home. And I want my kids to be proud of that, and I don’t want my kids to grow up with a chip on their shoulder.
“So I live as positively as I can and all those things that do happen to me, hey, it happens but it happens to other people too and we deal with it.”
Hussain also talked about how her life changed after last year’s emotional Bake Off finale.
“I remember the following day I went out and I met a lady – and I’ll never forget it,” she said.
“This lady was with her child, maybe eight or nine months old, and said, ‘I watched your final and I had been scared to leave the house because I’ve had my baby and I’ve been really afraid to leave with the baby. And I watched the final and I’ve finally left with the baby, and this is the first thing I’ve done outside of the house without anybody.'”