Big Zuu's journey to fame by winning BAFTA is inspiring

The BBC has launched a new cooking competition show called Hungry For It . Hungry For It is the ultimate cooking crash course, following ten aspiring chefs as they compete to win the praise of three judges, including TV host Stacey Dooley and celebrity chef Kay Kay Kay Kay). The third judge is musician and foodie Big Zuu. For those unfamiliar with his work, read on to find out who Big Zuu is and what else there is to know about the Hungry For It judge.

Big Zuu, born Zuhair Hassan, is a rapper and self-taught chef. The 26-year-old artist was born in west London. His mother is from Sierra Leone and his father is from Lebanon. He is best known for Big Zuu's Big Eats , a TV series about Dave that he launched in May 2020. The show has successfully aired for two seasons and a third season is in production. The film follows Hassan and two of his school friends, Taboosi and Haider, as they cook in a food truck for some of the biggest names in entertainment.

Before entering the entertainment industry, though, the former Nando's employee spent a gap year between college and university working as a young children's tutor at a secondary school in Haggerston, east London. The avid Liverpool Football Club fan also attended Goldsmiths University in New Cross, south-east London, where he studied for a degree in community development and youth work.

Big Zuu is a member of the rap group MTP (My Team Paid), which consists of his cousin AJ Tracey and other grime MCs. Zuu says his musical style is influenced by people from the "old school," from American hip-hop legend Tupac Shakur to British grime rappers JME, Ghetts and Skepta. Zuu released his debut studio album Navigate on October 22, 2021. He has also appeared as a featured artist on YouTube and collaborated with rapper KSI on the 2018 single "Uncontrollable."

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Big Zuu has also made a number of TV appearances since the launch of Dave's cooking show, including on Guessable and Channel 4's Big Breakfast , which returned for a special Black To Front day in 2021.

Big Zuu won two BAFTA Television Awards at the 2022 awards ceremony, taking his career to greater heights. The awards he received were the Entertainment Performance Award and the Big Zuu's Big Eats Award. His speech at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) went viral on social media, in which he said: "We're doing this for working-class people. People who have made something from nothing."

Big Zuu is now starring in a BBC Three primetime show. Hungry For It is set in Peckham, south-east London, where ten contestants live and work together while competing to win the food trip of a lifetime.

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Throughout the series, you can expect to see special celebrity guests like Snoochie Shy, Michael Dapaah, AJ Tracey, Julie Adenuga and more. Professionals from food brands such as Nando's and Quorn will also be in attendance, as well as a number of food photographers.

Speaking to the BBC about his work on Hungry For It, Big Zuu said: "We're in a different time and it's important to inspire young people to cook. The next generation is being driven by their delivery apps and they're not Not always inspired to get into the kitchen.”

Speaking about the cost of living issues currently facing the UK, the rapper added: "We're in a cost of living crisis and cooking your own food saves money and is nutritionally better. I feel like creating avenues to inspire the younger generation to get into The culinary sector is important, especially through the public broadcaster the BBC."

Sharing what audiences can expect from Hungry For It, Big Zuu added, "Some of the mashups we saw there were incredible." He continued, "There's some great representation of where people are coming from."

Watch Hungry For It every Tuesday at 8pm on BBC Three .