Nadiya Hussain: 'No arranged marriage for my children'

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Abdal Hussain and Nadiya Hussain in January 2016Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Nadiya married her husband Abdal when she was 19

TV cook Nadiya Hussain says she does not want her children to follow her example by having an arranged marriage.

The Great British Bake Off winner told Good Housekeeping magazine she fell in love with her husband Abdal after marrying him at the age of 19.

But Hussain said she needed to "move with the times" with her own children.

The mother-of-three, 32, said: "I don't think [my children] need me to find them a husband or a wife. They will do a better job than I will."

Talking about her arranged marriage, Hussain said: "It's tough - you are pretty much marrying a complete stranger."

She added: "I had an arranged marriage, and learnt you have to persevere and remember we are all human and all have faults...

"We had to live through the good and the bad, and have come out the other side. Love is strange... it creeps up on you and then smacks you in the face.

"I didn't know my husband, and then we had two children, and then I fell in love with him."

Since winning Bake Off, Hussain has appeared in her own food series, The Chronicles Of Nadiya, and started writing a recipe column for the Times newspaper.

Hussain's new BBC TV show, Nadiya's British Food Adventure, began this month.

Last year, Hussain told Radio 4's Desert Island Discs that she was never pressured into marrying a stranger.

"My dad always gave us options, he never said you have to marry a particular person, they never put that pressure on us," she said.

Hussain said she had met husband Abdal once before their wedding day - on the day of their engagement - but they had spoken for six months over the phone.

"I asked all the right questions," she said. "Sort of things like, do you have a 10-year forecast, what do you plan on doing in 10 years, how many kids would you like, are you going to live with your parents, when do you plan on buying your house?"

Hussain - a second-generation British Bangladeshi - told the September issue of Good Housekeeping that she wanted to encourage her children to be independent.

She said: "They won't be living with me when they're 18 - I've got a cruise to go on.

"I don't give them pocket money for doing chores - I don't get paid to do the dishes, so they don't either."