Life has been transformed for Nadiya Hussain since she scooped the Great British Bake Off crown last month. Already a heroine for many across the nation before her win, the British-Bangladeshi mum-of-three rose to fame overnight. After her emotional win, which prompted tears from GBBO judge and baking queen Mary Berry, Nadiya went on to appear on HELLO! magazine's front cover. She has also been called "a star" by the show's presenter Sue Perkins and rubbed shoulders with Australian actress Nicole Kidman.
"That's weird, right?" Nadiya told Manchester Evening News, incredulous after her encounter with the star at the Women of the Year awards luncheon in London earlier this month, where she also got to pose with Mary Nightingale and Lorraine Kelly.
"This time last year I was at home not doing anything and now I'm having lunch with Nicole Kidman. It's all very surreal."
Nadiya has had a jam-packed schedule since the show finished, which is set to continue. She'll be at the Cake and Bake Show in Manchester in November, and will be joining other chefs and bakers in Edinburgh.
"My feet haven't touched the ground to be honest. It's been the best time of my life," said the 30-year-old, who has reportedly just sold her house in Leeds. She is said to be moving to Milton Keynes to be nearer her family and London, where she hopes TV and book opportunities will materialise.
She will bake before a live audience audience for the first time at the Cake and Bake Show on 13 November – when she will be demonstrating the iced buns she made in the final as well as the chocolate tart that won her the "Hollywood handshake". Nadiya has also become the latest celebrity booked to turn on the Christmas lights in Leeds, where she has resided for years.
And, of course, the star baker has been busy – not only making sweet desserts such as banana, cinnamon-salted caramel and hazelnut loaf, but tasty mains she didn’t get to showcase on Bake Off, such as steak, stir-fried vegetables and home-made chips. Nadiya fans could be forgiven for getting excited about a cookbook that may well be in the works.
Speaking exclusively with HELLO! magazine, Nadiya revealed: "I know life will change completely now and I think we’re all ready for it as a family. For me, I just want to keep baking and cooking. I'd love to do telly and write a book and whatever else comes along, nothing's sealed yet.
"None of this feels like work, it feels like fun. I'm having such an amazing time, I never imagined I would enjoy it so much. I want to grab it with both hands and say 'It's mine!'"