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“I feel there’s nothing I can’t do”: Bake Off star Nadiya on overcoming self-doubt after nearly quitting the show

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Anna Pollitt
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Being crowned winner of The Great British Bake Off represents much more than a trophy and a title to Nadiya Hussain - for her it's also a victory over paralysing self-doubt.

The 30-year-old from Leeds has revealed that before bringing home the coveted title with her Lemon Drizzle she was ready to turn down her place in the final 12, fearing she couldn't stand the heat.

“Before I did Bake Off I did wonder if, after 10 years of being at home, I was work ready,” she tells Hello! “When I was called for the final 12 I nearly rang to tell them I couldn’t do it.”

Thankfully, the intensely watchable star refused to give in to those fears and won over millions of viewers - and sparked many a gif - with her expressive face, honest outlook and spectacular bakes.

nadiya and paul

Paul hovers over Nadiya during the 'Bake Off' final

“It was all about the boundaries I put on myself,” she explains. “But with each week of Bake Off another boundary fell away until I felt completely open and free to run as far as I wanted. I feel there’s nothing I can’t do.”

While Hussain says she is unsure of her next move, she knows that she wants to keep baking and cooking and would “love to do telly and write a book”.

“I’m having such an amazing time, I never imagined I would enjoy it so much,” she says. “I want to grab it with both hands and say ‘It’s mine!’”

The baker posed with her husband Abdal and their three children for the magazine and joked about the attention heaped on “heartthrob” Abdal when he appeared on the final show to support her. 

“I believe he’s what you’d call a dreamboat, that’s what it says in the papers,” she said. “Or ‘the Hottie with the Cappucino Skin!’ That’s what I call him now.”

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Anna Pollitt

Anna is a freelance writer and editor who’s been making her dime from online since 2007. She’s a regular at Stylist.co.uk, ITV News and Emerald Street and moonlights as a copywriter and digital content consultant. The baby is borrowed.

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