One of the most popular winners of The Great British Bake Off, Nadiya Hussain, is to front her own cookery show as the BBC attempts to create a direct rival to the programme when it airs on Channel 4.
Hussain will co-host The Big Family Cooking Showdown alongside Zoë Ball. The premise of the show is 16 families competing to show off their best family recipes, inviting the hosts and judges into their homes.
Chefs Rosemary Shrager and Giorgio Locatelli will take on the role of judges. While the BBC cannot copy the format of The Great British Bake Off too closely as it is now owned by Channel 4, Shrager and Locatelli’s roles may parallel those once held by Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.
This is not Hussain’s first show as presenter for the BBC; she previously fronted a two-part documentary, The Chronicles of Nadiya, about the recipes that shaped her life. She signed a deal in 2016 to make the BBC her “home” for any future projects and will also appear in an eight-part series about British food.
The Big Family Cooking Showdown will air in the autumn, and – like Bake Off – will take the form of 12 episodes. Ball admitted she wasn’t the “best cook” but was picking up tips from Hussain and the families competing in the show.
“Family and food have always gone hand in hand and I’m looking forward to getting to know the recipes and traditions of the different families taking part,” said Hussain. “Having been through a food competition as an amateur cook myself, I know exactly how tough it can get and so I’ll be there for them, alongside Zoë, as the pressure really builds.”
The Bake Off final won by Nadiya in 2015 was watched by 15 million people, and the BBC hope her wide appeal will help bring in similar audiences numbers for The Big Family Cooking Showdown.
Locatelli, who set up Michelin-starred London restaurant Locanda Locatelli, said the show would celebrate how “cooking at home is at the base of healthy family relationships”. He said: “For Rosemary and I to be given the opportunity to taste people’s family dishes within their home is such an honour.”
Channel 4 have yet to confirm who will be presenting and judging Bake Off when it makes its debut on the channel. Hollywood is the only one of the original line-up who will be moving with the show, with chefs from Prue Leith to Michel Roux Jr all rumoured to be stepping into Berry’s shoes.
Love Productions, who make The Great British Bake Off, have also reportedly been struggling to find people willing to take over from Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins as presenters.
In January, the BBC waived a legal clause that meant Channel 4 couldn’t broadcast the show till 2018, and it is now expected to air sometime in the autumn.