11/07/2017 11:49 BST | Updated 11/07/2017 12:45 BST

‘Great British Bake Off’ Winner Nadiya Hussain Says She Feared She Was The ‘Token Muslim’ On The BBC Show

'I 'didn’t enter a baking show in the hope of representing anyone.'

Great British Bake Off’ winner Nadiya Hussain has revealed she feared she was the “token Muslim” when she appeared on the BBC show.

The 2015 champ told the Radio Times that her religion is “incidental” to who she is and admitted she struggled with it being so tied to her identity.

Radio Times

The 32-year-old said: “I certainly didn’t enter a baking show in the hope of representing anyone.

“Being a Muslim for me was incidental, but from the day the show was launched, I was ‘the 30-year-old Muslim’ and that became my identity.

“I struggled at the beginning, because I thought: ‘Am I the token Muslim?’ I’d never, in all my years, been labelled like that.”

She also told the magazine she was shocked by the amount of negative comments she was on the receiving end of when she made her debut on the baking competition.

“I heard it constantly, ‘Oh, she’s the Muslim, she’s the Muslim’. And I was so shocked by the amount of negative comments I got.”

Ben A. Pruchnie via Getty Images

Despite the negative comments, Nadiya insists she doesn’t let them affect her as most people are “lovely”.

“We are so much more accepting than that,” she added. “I never realised Britain had such open arms.”

Since winning ‘Bake Off’, Nadiya has gone on to enjoy huge success. As well as releasing her first cookbook, ‘Nadiya’s Kitchen’, she has also fronted her own travel documentary ‘The Chronicles Of Nadiya’.

She has another two TV shows in the pipeline, ‘Nadiya’s Food Adventure’ will air from 17 July, whilst she will also host ‘The Big Family Cooking Showdown’ alongside Zoe Ball later this year.

Read the full interview with Nadiya in the new issue of Radio Times, out now. www.radiotimes.com

Radio Times
Photo gallery 'Great British Bake Off': Where Are They Now? See Gallery