30 May New shows on BBC and meeting Nadiya Hussain
Last week I was a guest at the BBC Upfront event. The seasonal event reveals what’s in store for BBC viewers. The talented Nadiya Hussain was the VIP guest this time.
Lounging on the couch watching the likes of Midsomer Murders, Father Brown, Graham Norton, Downton Abbey, The Great British Bake Off etc is one of my guilty pleasures when I have some free time. Being an introvert, these shows often keep me company while I detox from human interaction. You can only imagine how excited I was when I received my invitation to the BBC Upfront event with Nadiya Hussain as the VIP guest.
The day was a treat! Joel Churcher, Vice President and General Manager, BBC Studios for Africa, talked us through what we can expect this winter. There was a couple of shows that caught my eye. Top Gear is returning with yet another set of presenters, cricketing legend Freddie Flintoff being one of them. it should be interesting to see if they can hit the mark this time. MotherFatherSon is a new thriller staring Richard Gere in his first TV role in 30 years. I love a good thriller and am counting down the days for this one to start. Nadiya’s Asian Odyssey is the new cooking show that starts this week already and it’s definitely on my watch list. Liar S2 will also be on our screens, which I’m looking forward to, and of course I will be tuning in to Midsomer Murders S17.
It was heartwarming to see that local content is doing exceptionally well. Come Dine with Me South Africa is wildly popular. Episode 10 of the latest season racked up the highest ratings of a BBC show ever by attracting 173 000 viewers!
The upcoming First Dates SA also got the most entries in the history of the show with 2000 singletons applying to find love through it. I thoroughly enjoy the UK and Australian versions and can’t wait to see what the local show has in store.
My highlight however, was meeting Nadiya Hussain.
My main reason for attending was because I was curious to see what will be on our tellies this winter and perhaps get a glimpse of Nadiya Hussain. If you don’t know who she is, she was the winner of The Great British Bake Off S6 in 2015. Talented and sharing delicious recipes in her shows Nadiya’s British Food Adventure, The Chronicles of Nadiya and so many others; she’s truly carved a lustrous career for herself.
Can you imagine my surprise when I ended up sitting next to her during the media briefing? I proper fan-girled
She is a natural story-teller who is relatable and easy to listen to. She is every bit as down to earth and just an overall lovely woman as she is on TV. And she is even more gorgeous in real life. It was abundantly clear that she is not only doing her shows because she loves it, but she is also doing it because so many girls need to see a Muslim woman, someone who looks and sounds like them, on mainstream TV. It’s important for all girls to have role-models and Nadiya is at the forefront of this much-needed shift in TV culture. She told us that when she was on The Great British Bake Off she felt as if there wasn’t space for her, she was shy and retreated into herself. She has blossomed since then realising how important it is to make space for yourself where you want to be. This is one of the biggest lessons she teaches her daughters – “elbows out,” she says, “make space for yourself.” I am keeping this in the back of my mind as I navigate my new career.
I can’t wait to watch her new show, Nadiya’s Asian Odyssey. Inspired by DNA test results that showed that her family heritage is rooted in Thailand and Cambodia. Exploring the people, culture and food is sure to be another winning show for her and the BBC.
It was an informative and fun day all round. Winter is for hibernating and BBC will definitely keep me entertained.