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Nadiya Hussain praised for on-screen anxiety treatment

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Nadiya Hussain

Viewers have praised Nadiya Hussain for opening up about her lifelong struggle with “extreme anxiety”, and her journey to get help, in a BBC One documentary.

The 2015 Great British Bake Off winner allowed cameras to follow her as she sought a diagnosis and treatment.

She was seen having therapy, speaking about how her anxiety and panic attacks stemmed from childhood bullying and serious health problems in her family.

It was an “incredibly open, honest and moving account”, one viewer wrote.

In Nadiya: Anxiety and Me, which was shown on Wednesday, she spoke about her regular panic attacks and voices in her head telling her she’s not good enough.

Anxiety was “often an overwhelming feeling I can’t control” and “a monster” that stops her functioning, she said.

“Having anxiety is probably one of the most lonely, most isolating things to have because you are your own worst enemy and you live inside your head,” she said.

During her cognitive behavioural therapy, she traced her problems back to when her brother and sisters both had life-threatening illnesses as young children, and the severe bullying she suffered at primary school.

Racist bullies would pull her hair out, slam her fingers in doors until all her fingernails fell out, and flush her head down the toilet.

“I still have that memory of the water going up my nose and feeling like if they don’t pull me up now I am going to drown with my head in this toilet,” she said.

After that, she hid under a sink and had her first panic attack.

“If I could erase my memory, then I would take that one memory out of my head, because that memory is always there,” she said.

The Daily Telegraph’s TV critic Isabel Mohan wrote: “By opening up about the severity of her condition and tackling it head-on, Hussein should now become an inspiration to her fellow anxiety sufferers.”

The programme also followed Hussain speaking to other sufferers, and doing something that would have been unthinkable before – taking an unplanned train trip to London.

Mohan wrote: “It feels bizarre that this familiar, friendly face, regarded as Bake Off’s biggest success story and a huge role model for many British Muslims, would ever be so scared of a simple trip, and is an important reminder that we shouldn’t assume that our friends and family are doing OK just because they’re all smiles when we see them.”

Writing in The Huffington Post, Rachel Moss said: “In a world where nearly nine in 10 people with mental health problems say stigma and discrimination have a negative effect on their lives, honesty like Nadiya’s feels like something we all need.”

Nadiya added during the programme: “I’m also aware I’m incredibly lucky because there are lots of sufferers who are undiagnosed or who are not getting professional treatment.”

The documentary was part of a string of special programmes made for Mental Health Awareness Week.

In David Harewood: Psychosis and Me, on BBC Two at 21:00 on Thursday, the Homeland actor will speak about being sectioned after a psychotic breakdown at the age of 23.

“As Nadiya said last night, we need to talk about these things,” he told BBC Breakfast.

Alastair Campbell: Depression and Me, fronted by the former Labour spin doctor, will be on BBC Two on Tuesday 21 May.

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Queen reprise 22-minute Live Aid set at Fire Fight Australia concert

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Brian May of Queen performs during the Fire Fight Australia bushfire relief concert in Sydney, Australia, 16 February 2020Image copyright
EPA

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Brian May of Queen performs to thousands at the Fire Fight Australia concert in Sydney

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US singer Adam Lambert has joined Queen to reprise the band’s legendary 1985 Live Aid set for 75,000 people at a huge benefit concert in Sydney.

The 22-minute set was part of a 10-hour fundraising event organised to raise A$10m (£5.15m; $6.71m) for communities devastated by bushfires.

“As Aussies we bear together… because it turns out the people at the top don’t,” the host Celeste Barber said.

Recent fires have killed at least 33 people, destroying thousands of homes.

In New South Wales, the worst-hit state, heavy rains have brought blazes under control. But in the last few months more than 11 million hectares of land – an area comparable to the size of England – has been affected across all of Australia’s states and territories.

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Olivia Newton-John, 71, performed with Australian singer Mitch TamboImage copyright
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Olivia Newton-John, 71, performed with Australian singer Mitch Tambo

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On Sunday, Olivia Newton-John and Alice Cooper joined local stars 5 Seconds of Summer, Tina Arena and Delta Goodrem for the Fire Fight Australia gig.

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Queen and Adam Lambert perform at the Fire Fight Australia, a concert for National Bushfire Relief in Sydney, 16 February 2020Image copyright
Getty Images

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Adam Lambert took the place of the late Freddie Mercury for the 22-minute set

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Joining Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor on stage, Lambert filled in for the late Freddie Mercury as the band performed hits such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga, We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions.

  • How much rain did it take to put out the NSW fires?
  • ‘Urgent help’ needed for 113 species after fires

Lambert, a former American Idol contestant who has previously toured with Queen, said it was a “real honour” to perform the band’s full Live Aid set for the victims of Australia’s bushfires.

The set at the 1985 fundraising concert at London’s Wembley Stadium for famine relief is seen as one of the greatest performances by any rock band. It was recreated for the 2018 film Bohemian Rhapsody.

Australian singer Guy Sebastian performs during the Fire Fight Australia bushfire relief concertImage copyright
EPA

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Australian singer Guy Sebastian was one of dozens of performers supporting the fundraiser

Australia has always had a fire season, with naturally occurring blazes sparked during the dry summer, but this year’s has been unprecedented in the scale and intensity of the fires.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has come in for harsh criticism for its response to the disaster.

Australian singer Delta Goodrem performsImage copyright
EPA

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Australian singer Delta Goodrem took to the stage with the Australian National Flag

Host Celeste BarberImage copyright
EPA

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Actor Celeste Barber kicked off a Facebook fundraising campaign in January that has netted more than A$50m

Profits from the event will be passed on to rural fire services, communities affected by bushfires and animal welfare groups.

  • A visual guide to Australia’s bushfire crisis
  • Bushfires bring ‘apocalypse’ to Kangaroo Island

People attend the Fire Fight Australia bushfire relief concertImage copyright
EPA

Among those attending was Dalene George, a teacher from Bateman’s Bay, who told Reuters news agency: “[I want to be] part of the people who helped to try and bring things back together and bring smiles. Yeah be part of that healing stuff that happens with community.”

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Media captionClimbing trees to save Kangaroo Island’s koalas

Another concert-goer, bank worker Karen Adams, said: “We’re in Sydney so we couldn’t even get down there to help, which was heartbreaking. And I work in a bank and so many families have lost everything so we’re here to support them all.”

Crowds at the concertImage copyright
AFP

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Caroline Flack: Love Island episode taken off air after ex-host’s death

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Flack with Jack Fincham and Dani Dyer on Love IslandImage copyright
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Flack with 2018 Love Island winners Jack Fincham and Dani Dyer

ITV have pulled Saturday’s edition of Love Island following the death of the show’s former host Caroline Flack.

An episode of unseen bits from the week in the villa was due to have been aired at 21:00 GMT.

Flack’s death shocked fans on Saturday. It came two months after she was replaced as host of the show after being charged with assault.

An ITV statement said: “Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news.”

It continued: “Caroline was a much loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends.”

ITV2’s programme announcer said: “In light of today’s sad news we’re replacing tonight’s episode of Love Island: Unseen Bits with a double bill of You’ve Been Framed.”

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Media captionCaroline Flack won a British Academy Television Award for Love Island in 2018

Love Island’s first winter series, which is being filmed in South Africa, is due to end on Sunday, 23 February.

  • TV presenter Caroline Flack dies at 40
  • Looking back at Caroline Flack’s career

Meanwhile, Channel 4 said its series The Surjury, which was to have been hosted by Flack, will not air.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: “We are shocked and saddened to hear the tragic news about Caroline Flack. Our deepest sympathies go out to Caroline’s family and friends.

“Under the circumstances, we have decided not to broadcast The Surjury.”

When the show was announced in October, the channel said it would feature a 12-strong jury of the public who would decide if people got the cosmetic surgery they dreamed of.

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Caroline Flack’s career highlights in pictures

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Strictly Come Dancing

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Flack dazzled on the dance floor with Pasha Kovalev when they won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014

TV presenter Caroline Flack, who has died at the age of 40, starred on some of Britain’s biggest television shows.

Here is a selection of photos that capture her career highlights.

TMi

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She got an early break alongside Sam and Mark on BBC children’s show TMi, which launched in 2006

On TMi in 2007

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Flack stayed on the Saturday morning favourite for three series before moving on

Wheels

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She teamed up with professional wheelchair dancer James O’Shea for Dancing on Wheels in 2010, with the pair going on to win the BBC Three contest

With Joe Swash on Let's Dance for... Comic Relief 2011

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She took part in Let’s Dance for… Comic Relief with Joe Swash in 2011. The pair also presented I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here Now!

Caroline Flack and Olly Murs filming The Xtra FactorImage copyright
ITV/Shutterstock

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With singer Olly Murs, Flack hosted The X Factor spin-off show The Xtra Factor from 2011 before the pair were promoted to present the main series in 2015

Love IslandImage copyright
ITV/Shutterstock

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When Love Island began in its current format in 2015, Flack was there to match up the scantily-clad singletons

Fashion For ReliefImage copyright
PA Media

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She walked the catwalk during the Fashion for Relief charity fashion show, which was hosted by Naomi Campbell for the Ebola crisis in Africa in 2017

Caroline Flack at the Bafta Awards 2018Image copyright
Getty Images

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Flack got her hands on a Bafta Award in 2018 when Love Island was named best reality show

Caroline Flack at the Brit Awards 2018Image copyright
Getty Images

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She was a fixture on other red carpets, such as at the Brit Awards in 2018

Love IslandImage copyright
ITV/Shutterstock

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She helped Love Island become one of the most popular British TV shows of the decade

TRICImage copyright
PA Media

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It won a string of prizes, such as the TRIC Award for best reality programme, which she collected with contestant Amber Davies in 2018

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