« Desert Island Discs

Nadiya Hussain

2016-08-14 | 🔗
Kirsty Young's castaway is the baker and winner of The Great British Bake Off in 2015, Nadiya Hussain. One of six children born to Bangladeshi parents in Luton, it was her father - a restaurateur - who encouraged her to cook. Having grown up in a culture where dessert wasn't common, her love of baking was awakened by her Year Ten home economics teacher. She had an arranged marriage to Abdal in her early twenties and stayed at home to bring up their three children until her husband encouraged her to apply for the Bake Off. She was selected and over 15 million viewers watched her beat her fellow finalists Tamal and Ian. Since winning Bake Off, Nadiya has been writing a column for the Times Magazine and has published her first cook book. She also has further books and a TV programme in the pipeline. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is the bbc hulu on Kirsty young. Thank you for downloading this podcast of desert on an discs from BBC radio for for rights reasons. The music choices are shorter than in the radio broadcast for more information about the programme. Please visit bbc dotcom, dont uk slash radio for the My castaway this week is the great british beef. Coughed champion nausea hussein, tens of of his watched in all week after week as she conjured colony, magnificence from rough puff Chris passing marshmallow, icing, wooing judges and viewers alike. With her unique recipe of creativity, competence, warms and wit, and natural
both at the stove onscreen she has since take her talents beyond the tent to rights weekly for the times, publisher and cookery book and even baker nineties birthday cake for her majesty the queen throughout the ten weeks of relentless? Judging this five whole hijab, winning british bangladeshi housewife and mom of three kept her nerve going on two counts the media and becoming according to the brits one of the uk, five hundred most influential people. She says Please, although I must admit that baking is my favorite pastime, when I don't do that, which is not often, I love to read and write
By this I mean I read cookbooks and write recipes soup. I never steer too far away from baking and cooking. What can I say I am obsessed so welcome or nadia as a nation. I think it be fair to say we were obsessed with bake off throughout it, sir period of being broadcast. Fifteen million of us. I think it was in the end or watched you get to the final. It seemed to be about so much more, of course, than just baking a nice little cake. It seemed towards that final episode that you yourself were in town We invested and really very emotional that wasn't a kind of. Was it an epiphany for you at the end of this year? I am. It was one of those things where had gone in and it was we accidental, my husband, applied for me and said he go. I think you do it any just but like I need you to do something for myself. I've been at home with the kids for ten years, and then I can when anything
as long as I'm not out in the first week, it'll be absolutely fine and I got through the first week- and I thought oh okay well I'll- be out at some point soon got to week. Five got star baker, though I'm quite enjoying this now and then got to sort of week, seven and thought right and I'd love it. If I got to the final got to final, so I don't need to win. You know I didn't realize what was happening was my confidence was growing at each stage, describing atmosphere that at the moment, when male ensue, the clear in already steady bake. It is just a cake, but it's not just a cake. Oh, it's not just a cake, real justice and I think if it's a technical, when it's really nerve racking, could you ve got that gingham hump on your
work. Taught me, you don't know what's under the ep, and the technical is the one that you can't of course practice cause. You don't know where you gonna get to make an. Let's call it will not cake gate. Shall we as the first episode of that request cities for you and you come twelve out of twelve. He. I think it was a problem with the icing. Wasn't my hands iced besides, so they said ice the cake- and I had an ice decides because my husband like too much I think I was destroy a kind of confirmed everything I felt. I thought you don't belong here, you you never belong in an I beat myself up about that, and I still can't look at walmart kate to this day and we as viewers. Of course it's easy to be glad about the emotional polar television body. It definitely has emotional power, and when we saw you say at the end of that last winning episode and never gonna, say
can't. Do it I'm never going to say, maybe I'm never going to see, I don't think I can. I can. I will a lot of people shed tears with you, as you were saying that it was weird because I'd said those words, but I had never watched it back when you're there. It feels like a blur- and I remember watching that I know back and is looking around and everyone around me was blubbering, my family. Everyone was watching with me. They were all crying and, I know when I said those words why I said them and I remember the following day. I went out and I met a lady who- and I ll never forget it, because I met this lady who was with a child, maybe eight or nine months old and said. I watched your final and I I have been scared to leave the house because I've had my baby and I've just been really afraid to leave with the baby, and I watched the final and I finally left with the baby outside the house. It's the first thing. I've done with my child.
the house without anybody. So for me, I had realized what happened at that point and ever since kind of coming off bake off everybody seems to talk about that loss bay and how they, felt the same emotions or in some way related to those words. Tell me about your first piece of music entity. What was your first is my first one is probably my his memory of music, so it's bob please no woman, no cry my dad had a record player and it was a we will. You loved his record player so much? I think we, it was up there with his children. You notice his kids, I'm that record player, and then he had set of records, but it was that one that he would play concept. on the p the the
the when then that was both money in the wheelers and new woman, no cry chosen by uniting the same, because your dad was used to play it on the thing that he valued along with his children. You said his record clear that would be on the on the decks and european It's to me. An asthma come here from bangladesh. After their marriage, they moved to loosen em young one of six kids as a little kid busy house. How did you entertain yourselves? Wow? Goodness we were rebels, we were awful cause. It was six of us and when my youngest brother was born, the eldest was twelve, so my sister would spend most
at the time upstairs is a grumpy teenager and the rest of us. I remember this one game we played, which we played every day, regardless of what the weather was. We would try to dig to the center of the earth, so we would take some. All. Spoons from the house or spades, what have we could find a mood pate everyday. Somebody said that this lover at the centre of the earth- and we thought if we let that love out it, might get really warm sun. the difficult for war, which are still looking for now, tell me a bit about your grandmother? Should she was important in family life and in your life? What? Why was that? My grandma was definitely the glue in our family. I grew up with a brother and a sister who were quite poorly and spent a lot of time in hospital, so my mom spent, I think, of twelve months. She'd spent nearly nine months in and out of hospital with my brother and sister, who were both sort of in and out constantly. So it was a case where my parents would have to share who stays with which child at will, point, and these were serious health problems. Your sister had a congenital heart problem,
your brother was born with a cleft palace, yet it was hard I mean I can't I can't imagine now parent myself, how they managed that and still showed us with love bought. When they weren't around. She just took over she cooked she cleaned she was very new to the country herself at this point right, so she didn't really- I remember a point when she didn't know what to put in our here when she was given us a bath, and so she said why I'll just put very liquid in your hair, so she's to wash out here with fairy equipment. But she did the best she could she's an amazing woman ass. She definitely kind of held us. She kept afloat why my mom was an around my dad one around time for more music naughty now we are going to listen to the best things in life of free by luther Vandross, aunt, JANET Jackson, they caesar One of the ones- and I remember from primary school, my teacher would mrs Norton would play it every day in the background in class
promise evangelists and janet Jackson, and the best things in life are free and you said chosen at nadia hussain, because MRS Norton, your teacher, used to play there every day worked on her for the progress of your mother I understand said of you and your sisters. I want them to be little princesses. Yes, right yeah she mean my dad was a chef, so he spent a long time to come gin and my mom was one of those years. A hard worker and her mom was a is a hard
it could. Even now, eighty four she'll still get up and try and help my mom in the kitchen and stuff and and my mom's such a graph that she almost didn't want that for us freud, because you know they had an extended family there to look after our bangladesh, and you know that was had that kind of pressure. My dad always encouraged us to learn things like learning to ride a bike, learning how to swim. Learning. How to those things were important, but my mother used to say no just just leave them alone. They don't need to do anything and isn't rice that your mother, when she was preparing family meals. You do that in itself was quite an elaborate processing. There would be at least for different types of curry at one sitting, and all that I'm in full curries is, I think, quite
It's quite small is quite small amount. I think my mum would go to up to about eight, so eight kind of medium sized curries with a big pot of rice, and when you sat down for a meal you had to have each one cooked from scratch, cooked from scratch for six kids, six kids every single day mia I mean it baffles me now cause I cook one korean my mom thinks I'm an awful mother. Sometimes just like one curry, I had six kids and I made eight. We always said to her why you cooking that, but we'd really don't need to eat that much, and why was she? I think it was something a tradition that came from bangladesh that she could never get rid of, and I think when the he first came to this country. That's why she had was her identity and an that's what they did in bangladesh. They took seven or eight different countries and that's what she did here. I'm food of courses so tightly bound up with their own identity. Over, and of our selves or domestic memories, and so on. I noticed from watching you on tv that you seem to have. I would see a particularly sweet tooth,
did. That start when you were young, we what sort of puddings and things and cakes to do enjoy. We. additionally in bangladesh cuisine there is no concept of dessert, so I never grew up with just the only time I really understood dessert was when I was at school. I'd have pudding and I used to come home and say to my house: we have a rebel come home, so why don't we have pudding like we always have at school. And my friends have your own, but my mom never used to use her. Often so should use storage had put frying pounds in her, so she would never. She never knew how to bake. She never knew that. That's where cake magic happens. Let's have some music, not you who sent him about. This is your third one. This he's back she boys. As long as you love me. This is definitely when I was a hormonal He major thing I listen to this for about five years straight,
the backstreet boys and as long as you love me, so tell me not yet, as I soon those certainties if it rains and bake off. I watched you kind of find you a competitive self as it where we competitive at school. Did you like to be top of classic you do well yeah. I was one of those really annoying kids at school, who would say I'd never revised but secret. I was revising every single day. You know
I wasn't a bean's revised. I was somebody who would sit and learn why learn at school every day I was the kid that did really well at school and everybody hated me. You are, understandably, I would think you know capitalizing on the on the the fame and the success that bake off has brought you by now embracing this career of writing. Your writing. A weekly food column for the times doing recipes for then you've got a book being published this year. A cookery book, there's another one coming out next year and then, as I understand it, got a couple of novels coming but I read that you won a poetry competition when you were just a's yeah, it was, I think, was seven and it was the poem about. It was four lines and it was about a mum who got soap in her eyes, while her kids were around the bath- and I can't remember the poem fully was a national competition and if you win, you make it into a collection. So there's a book and a really enjoyed how I felt after winning and why I like that
ass, a man I just carried on in just cut writing in a way onto to kind of do an english language a level. The other thing that you enjoyed was cooking. Mrs marshal was cooking teacher. Tell me about her. She was the one that introduce me to the magic. I look at it like magic. Even now, sometimes when I bake- and it comes out completely different- think that is the jake. I never knew that a mixed goes in the and that's what it comes out like because your mom wasn't using me up, because my mother was never using the oven. I thought it was storage, so when I into school and she whipped up this victoria sponge and put it into tins and said right, we're going to put it into the oven and it was hot, and I was like oh wait. I thought this. darling. You imagine that twelve but I wasn't alone, I was in a class. Full of girls would never baked in their lives, and these were the ovens where they had steel doors where you could look inside and also okay. So what happens now? She said we just wait. Forty minutes and forty minutes later. There's this cake- and I was like that
he can. She said yes and she looked at me as if I was completely insane. I was like that's much. Onto meat was like sorcery, but you see there is a. of alchemy in baking. Isn't that do you still feel that absolutely I'm in I'm doing something new that I've never done before and as time goes by them, methods as it was new ways of doing things, and I'm always learning and I'll do something always something up and it'll turn into a pace. Nominate wow right, so that unites woman? What are we gonna hear it's your forth, so I've got some abroad he's by the icy brothers- and this was the first cd I bought for my first car. I didn't have any much money so I drove over to him. Envy and the only OECD that was on sale was the icy brothers and
The rest of this is history. I still have that city and I still listen to that. That was the My brothers and summer breeze, so not you who sing you went to bangladesh, for I think, was seven months when you were to ten years old ten. What are you memories of that big trip?
those were the days when you were allowed to take your kids out of school and they let you back. In seven months later, we went at a perfect time when we could catch every season, so my granddad was a rice farmer and we would plow the fields. We'd grow the rice and we harvested the rice. We sold the rice. We at the rice we did the whole thing in seven months and will you happy to come home to britain of absolutely? No, we want to stay. I meant is easy: me to sit and say that for them they have understood why we wanted to stay in. What will you live in the uk? You ve got the life of the. Why do you stay here, we loved it. I remember just being hysterical, not wanting to leave I remember my mom saying we ve got to go. You can have beans on toast, difficult home rule. Ok, ok, maybe we'll go will come back again next year. That's fine! You didn't take much and, as you said, you'd that was working in the restaurants. Industry, frosty works as a waiter and then, as I understand it, had a few restaurant yeah zone. He taught you to cook, he took it.
the deal, those domestic things and, in essence, unit culturally, because he wanted you to do it for your husband and there you were in our young. British girl with ambition. You went to college you were getting an education. Did you feel, like a young woman at that point too, who had choices about her future, or did you feel your future to be mapped out for you, I mean, I think I do in my own head, I felt like I had choices, but I think I owe new the reality that it will be dictated somewhat because that's just the kind of environment that we grew up in whether your man or woman, you know, I think, of when you're a woman you slightly dictated to more than you are a man, and I saw my cousin and family members, especially the women. They seem to be an emerging patten where they get to say aids, will get married in the gulf of children, didn't work it. There was a pattern in my own head, I thought I had kind of choices by new deep down the yes, the messages that were being reinforced is that you
well, the patrick, oh yeah. By the time you were nineteen, you had two jobs yet had two jobs at nineteen. My sister got a job at fifteen, you know and we grow up with a dad who worked really really hard, and my mom always encouraged just got work. She always said: don't stay at home go and work. Is it I've read in the paper, so I have to find that knife. It's true that you, you bought your parents first house for them. Yes, so I members living in the house and we had a landlord who would just come and go being whenever he wanted and understand that. Why do you keep coming and going his reserve keys or yea sake? easy, come and go and he'd coming in and complain to my mom that this ty deal. This is Mr Mulder, I didn't like it and then I heard
was that he was selling the house or thought right, I'll approach, him myself and say: if you're selling it can I buy you a nine nineteen nineteen year is quite unusual, isn't it I I you know, I think, while it is what probably my I just I've spent my whole life watching. My parents sacrifice things for me and so buying a house was nothing. I just couldn't bear the fact that somebody would come in and treat my mum like second class citizen, and how did they react when you told them that you had this money to buy the house? I think they were very emotional level. Really emotional am and they tried to talk me out of it. Hmm and then I said no dad. How do you get a mortgage cause? I'm nineteen, I didn't know how will lap and- and I said what do I do, who do I pay the money to and my dad kind of said, okay? Well, let's do this, then: let's have some more music nadia hussain, your fifth choice, so it's Accidently love by counting crows and tell me why you ve chosen this one. This is there a song the
I was introduced to my husband. We spoke to each other physics six months and we never saw each other, and was the sun, but he would listen to in the background, but people I wasn't listening, but I was I was increases and accidently loving. You said not even seen that sir, the man who become your husband used to play that in the background, when he was speaking chief, those six months on the phone, when you never met, does he still play it here? who plays here and he still he sings the song every single day at some point, and I have to tell him look just stop now we ve
with nearly eleven years, you do not need to say that it was very clear watching you on tv that he didn't just make. You fill in the form to apply to be on bake off, but but he was there at the end and he very intimately sort of embraced you and was whispering in your ear. You knew how proud he was of you. It was an arranged marriage. The day that you got engaged was the first time that you'd ever clapped eyes on him. What did you think when you well? It was quite good looking, so it was easy to get engaged to him, but we'd spoken for six months. I think back to me when I was nineteen of twenty. I asked all the right questions. What did you ask him so things like? What would you have a tenure? forecasts. Do you know what do you plan on doing in ten years? How many kids would you like you going to live with your parents? When do you plan on buying a house all those questions if he had given? the wrong answers, as he would have believe them to be. What would you have called it off? Would you ve been allowed to oh yeah My dad always gave us option. He never said you have to marry a particular person. My parents never put that kind of pressure on us when
we were married, then, is it true used to become a cake every day every day, every day, every single day? I would. Why did you do that because he loves cake and he's too so hard and he still works really hard and I so that when he walked through the door- and he smells cake that smile on his face and I the days I haven't baked a cake- you say: oh, you didn't take anything We can have a disappointment in his voice, but I was stay at home, so I felt like that was my job and when you were married, then you move to leads to be with his gun we literally lived with his family, you had two children in very quick succession and one year after another described to me the naughty hussein I would have met. Then, if I, if I'd bumped into you in the street, I probably would have been of a kind of mass kind of. I remember myself being a little bit kind of overwhelmed. I got so bad down in being the best housewife, that kind of lost myself when it could be something a silly is at start wearing, hush high heels. You know
and I'd stop enjoying certain things, and I could drive down to my mom's with two very small, children, I wouldn't bother me why couldn't get on the bus with them, because I was so afraid of people. Looking at me all people, thinking that I looked horrible all people, judging me in saying how could you possibly have two children, even in that space of time now you know we read a loss these days about the social isolation of young and old, indeed muslim women in britain, and that this is a significant problem culturally for all of us. What would you say about that people within communities who really never reach out of those communities and and and and don't ever interact with the world beyond. That's what happened with me where I was so kind of, consumed by looking after my children that my only kind of social interaction was either my sister in law all my husband or my father in law, that was all my
many down the phone- and that was it and I think, little by little less to try to get myself out of that word, take the kids to play group and then interact for them the people and then, as soon as they start to go to school, I was like I like this, because I was interacting with different people- and I would hang around in the playground and just chat, wait amongst which I am sure we're trying to get away because they have other things. Do, but I will happily just checking way to them, because that was the only kind of interaction I go, and sometimes it is really easy to become trapped in this bubble, Let's have some music, not he who send we're gonna, listen to your six It's easy to katie Melua, nine million bicycles. This was one of the songs that I listened to during my pregnancy. I tried really hard to listen to school music couldn't do it, and I just that this one, those songs that were just happened to be out at the time and it was one I just listen to the time.
like the facts, to light, we are no one can ever say, but I know that, in bicycles, katy, men, Alonso nuttier hussein. Tens of thousands of people apply to be in that big of tent each and every year, and then there you are nine weeks episode ten in the tent. In the final, the last of three pull hollywood's utters the immortal phrase, an ice burn is a thing of beauty. there is no place to hide, and strangely we all believe him, because when all
and by the end we are somehow a golden truth. How does it feel being judged by the isis steer on tv? Dare I say it got easier through time because I felt like at the very beginning I was very different. I was really by the end of it. Well, I've got nothing to lose now and you I mean you started to really give it right back to him, which was one of the great joys of forty deny my poor. That has been on the receiving end of my god for years. So it's it's nice to give it Yes, I do you success in your faith has been criticised by many. Very credible people is doing more for race relations than any great big government initiative. Could ever do what? What? What do you make of that? I have to say genuine.
I find that astounding and my jaw is on the ground when someone says that cause. I can understand how that happened, and sometimes I feel like squat lot of pressure cause, I think, all goodness, because I'm not perfect, but the fact that I anyone can sort of look at me and say actually she's done so much for race relations as a good thing. You know cause we live in times where things are so strained, sometimes that if something like a simple baking show can do something like that, you know that's a good thing what about the flip side? Of course, because you, you know you're a very prominent women and we knew that many men, many muslim women who are not prominent, you know daily, are, are ridiculed and abused in our streets right now, such as the temperature of race relations in parts of our country. Does that happen to you germany has happened. I mean through myself, of early tea, when we ve had less of the big
things happen in the news. You know last september the eleventh legs out what, when its covered by the media, that in all these massive things happen, you do you do it. use, and I did get abuse I had of how things thrown at me and pushed and java- and you know I just it- sounds rather silly because I feel like that just become a part of my life now I expect It really yeah? Absolutely I expect it. I expect to be shoved or pushed or verbally abused, because it happens. It's been happening for years. So do what you do. I don't retaliate, because that's what I I just feel like: there's a dignity in silence and I think, if I retaliate to negativity with naked
levity. Then we ve, even though I don't need to even now, because of 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 of living in the uk, because, yes, there are those negative people, but there the minority, but I being british- and I love living here- and this is my home and it always will be, 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. me hey. You know it happens, but happens to other people to whom we deal with their turnover in excess of music. Not so seven years by lucas, graham my children, absolutely love playing this on the guitar. My husband went on youtube and learn how to play this piece in the now him in the boys
we'll play the music together, and someone lived only see that only believe in young girls, the smallest voices. They can make a major god mumble with me, at least in theory, and if we do that was
is grim and seven years and naughty hussein. I mentioned in the introduction that the bretz is now listed you as being one of the top five hundred most influential people in britain. How would you like to use that influence that you find yourself with between us? I think slight shocks by that and but felt really proud, really really proud and- and I feel like I'm in such a position, because I spent most of my adult existence trying to raise good children and just being a good role model for them, and it suddenly become so much more than that and for me I just feel like if I continue to just be a good role model, My kids, I feel that's what's really important, because I feel at that resonate with everyone, because I feel like if, if that's what I'm doing it's, not that much pressure and I'm not thinking about it too much and
it's such a cliche to say that any reality t v program is a journey, but for you it seems more applicable than most that somehow it helped you reconnect with that very important core of yourself. Would you agree with that yeah? I did feel a little bit like I'd, lost myself But I feel like that same seven, euro, that when the company, You know that the nineteen year old up what the house you know whatever I did. I wanted to do really well. I spent ten years a home with my children and I know there are many moms out there who would love to stay. with their children? And for me that was a privilege and yellow myself baby I'll, never take away from the fact that I had the best job in the world, but now I'm doing something that I love as well as being a mom and it's nice actually to have the two, because I feel like being a home it's me grounded because I still have so many other roles to fulfil outside of the one that says at the house,
I'm casting your ways who does islands. I can only imagine given what you've just said that you know you'll cope yeah the thing about ray. Tell me about your final piece of music and nadia. What are we going to hear? So it's a classical piece of music that I used to listen to on my children's cot, mobile, which It was one that I loved so much that I used it for all three of the children and then kept the motor at the end. So I could listen to the music even after they'd grown up. the the
the Possibility cannon Andy major played by the berlin philharmonic and conducted by herbert fun, carry on sir, not yet time for you to leave for the
and I'm going to give you some books. Everybody gets the complete works of shakespeare and the bible or equivalent religious text, the koran which you prefer yeah and you get to take another book of your own along with those two. What are you going to take? poverty, one that I haven't read before so what is it Joe, Joe noise me before you and a luxury? Now this has meant me nothing practical, but something that's disconnect ease the pain of the deprivation on the island mommy It has to be my my that is the one thing that I would take that I'd miss desperately forgotten of my kids. Then I can olive mama. You might not have the toast for it. I can eat marmite by the spoonful okay lifetime supply of marmite. It is then, finally, which one of the eight of the tracks would you save from the waves if they were to be washed away, I think you'd have be the classical peace possible. That would be the one that would save, because that reminds me of my children when they worse
so tiny and so special it's yours. he who say. Thank you very much for letting us here. Your desert island discs thankee the you ve been listening to a diamond from the BBC, to find more information on the radio for website. Bbc Dakota uk slash radio for.
Transcript generated on 2022-06-19.