My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The 2 stars are for the book. The BBC gets 1 star. The “author” Nadiya, gets 5! I was sent this book to look at to buy it for the shop. Nothing Nadiya Hussein who won the baking show, Great British Bake Off last year, could do could possibly match up to the hype the BBC have been hysterically pushing for months now. I understand that the BBC out of a mistaken sense of being politically-correct have decided that this pretty, nicely spoken mum-of-three is going to be the Next Big Ethnic Star and show that Not All Muslims are Fundamentalists.
Are they stupid or what? Those who believe that all Muslims support ISIS are going to be horrified by a hijab and heavy make-up wearing Muslim woman anyway. The rest of us aren’t that stupid. Nadiya is a presenter, is getting her own show, her own books, and interviews all over the place. The BBC say she is a National Treasure. I understand how swayed by the promises of fame and riches Nadiya obviously was, but her first exposure to being a major media presence was baking a cake for the Queen’s birthday, it was awful. She’s an amateur and bakes family-style, not slick wedding-cake, royal icing and sculpted tiers. She was out of her depth as the picture shows. And so she is with the book.
The book is a rehashing of fairy tales and simplistic recipes for the primary school set (they are quite nice actually). The book is obviously a production set-piece from the BBC and the publisher put together by a ghost writer and illustrator with contributions from Nadiya (maybe).
Nadiya is not a “national treasure”, “rising media star” or an author. She’s a nice woman with a pretty face who is a good amateur baker and she should do what the other winners do, bake in her local community, maybe run cookery classes or set up a little shop or cafe. Her town is, I’m sure, proud of her and would support her and probably put her on the local media where she could grow, at her own pace and how far she went would depend on her talent and charisma (which she has).
I just really hate to see someone set up for a fall by the BBC whose own agenda required them to find a Nadiya and they just didn’t care about her as a person at all.
Good luck Nadiya. I didn’t love the book, but I loved you in the Great British Bake Off and wish you the best.