'Tears of joy': Luton Bake-Off star Nadiya thrilled with New Year's Honours!
Luton-born chef and broadcaster Nadiya Hussain has spoken of her delight at being awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List.
The celebrated culinary whiz, 35, shot to fame after winning Great British Bake-Off in 2015.
Since then, Nadiya has gone on to be its most successful contestant with a string of cookery books as well as her own TV series attracting millions of viewers.
On Instagram, the busy mum-of-three shared a picture of the words 'MBE' inscribed on the side of her car and wrote: "Even my car is crying tears of joy!
"Thank you for all the kind words and absolutely wonderful messages! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this would ever happen to me.
"I know my grandparents would be really proud, they wouldn’t understand what was going on, or what it means but they would be proud none the less. I just know it !
"Little old rice farmers family in the middle of nowhere with a granddaughter with an MBE!
"I wish they were alive to enjoy this moment with us! I have had an exhilarating and exciting few years and I have done weird, wonderful and scary things. Long may it continue.
"Thanks to all the people who have supported me and believed in me and just made it all just a little bit easier."
Nadiya was awarded the MBE for services to broadcasting and culinary arts, and was praised for using her public profile to raise awareness of her struggles as a young mother and the social isolation experienced by some Muslim women.
Sharing her experiences of abuse, she has also spoken about anxiety, helping to combat some of the stigma that still exists around mental health issues and encouraging others to feel
comfortable to discuss their own experiences.
Ted Cantle, the author of a government report on community cohesion, said Nadiya has done "more for British-Muslim relations than 10 years of government policy" and she has also been lauded as an inspirational role model for a large number of people, who might otherwise feel unrepresented in the media.
She is an Ambassador for charity Wateraid and Starlight Children's Foundation.