The manager of a Leighton Buzzard Indian restaurant saw a familiar face on the Great British Bake Off on Wednesday night, as Nadiya Hussain was crowned winner of the BBC show.
Abdul Haque, known to his customers at Methi in Bridge Street as Ace, recognised Luton-born Nadiya’s father, Ali, during the climax to the programme.
Ace told the LBO he knew Ali when Nadiya’s father was the manager of Akash Tandoori Restaurant in the 1980s.
He said: “I remember when her dad worked in the town, it was in the 1980s and it was at Akash restaurant. I must have met her quite a few times when she was a toddler.
“Her dad was a good chef himself. It was great to see her do well in the competition.
“At first I did not recognise her on the telly or know who she was and then I saw her dad jumping around in the audience and it clicked.”
The Great British Bake Off final was watched by an estimated 12 million people, the mother-of-three won over judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry with her Big Fat British Wedding cake.
Ace added: “She did really well to win, I am proud of her.
“It was good to see a Muslim woman on the show wearing her hijab, it shows that it can be practical and we can be part of British society.”