Documentary following Junior Bake Off winner Nikki during the summer of 2016, looking at her passion for vlogging and following her to the USA as she is treated for facial AVM.
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So amazing, I can't believe it!
Hi, everyone, I'm Nikki and this summer was the best summer ever!
I was entered into Junior Bake Off, and guess what?
But as the cameras were filming me, I was filming myself.
I have my camera here.
Ooh! Crazy hair!
During the last three months, I've been filming my baking...
I've been nibbling away at this one...
And the highs and lows of my crazy life.
OK? Come on, then.
I love you.
Morning everyone, its Nikki and today I thought I would vlog.
I live in London with my family.
My amazing mum...
There's the camera! There we go.
..my big brother, Alex...
..my glamorous big sister.
This is Tasha, we're going to do our make-up together.
And my dad. He's a Spurs fan.
I look pink.
Now, if you're wondering why half of my face looks like this,
it's because I have an AVM.
AVM is a very rare medical condition.
It's quite tricky to understand.
So, listen up.
The arteries pump high-pressure blood around our bodies.
They feed little capillaries that are really tiny,
which put the oxygen and nutrition into the tissue.
But on the right side of my face, I don't have any capillaries.
So my arteries grow straight into the veins,
which aren't made for high pressure.
So they swell and sometimes burst.
This is what makes my face raised and also really sore,
and gives me super bad headaches.
Can you tell me what your name is please?
I was born with my AVM,
but for the first six years of my life,
no-one knew there was a problem,
and I was just a happy, bouncy kid.
When I was six, I was diagnosed with AVM,
and that has affected my life quite a lot.
And, yeah, I've had to call the ambulance quite a few times.
So, this is Boris.
We call it Boris because it's sort of brown and it's a bag.
I have to take it everywhere with me,
because I can have really bad nosebleeds
and so inside there is a big plastic bowl,
and lots of kitchen towel folded up.
So that's really handy.
It's like a little nose clip for if I have nosebleeds.
And then, this is just sort of the bowl for any big nosebleeds.
I can either get a cup full of blood or I can get like ten cups full.
It really just depends on how bad my nose bleed is.
'It's important my AVM doesn't get worse.'
'So I'm constantly in and out of hospital for treatment.'
I've got a little operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital
which is a children's hospital in England,
if you guys didn't know that. It's quite famous.
-So, I'm going to do a set of observations on you, OK?
You could probably do it yourself, couldn't you?
I'll get it all out for you anyway.
I've been to hospital a lot.
I've had probably about half a year of my life spent in hospital.
And I've had over 300 hospital appointments.
So altogether, that's about 26, 27 operations.
Is Daddy there? There he is.
Nikki is in pain, pretty much every day.
But she kind of gets on with it, really.
Takes it in her stride.
She... She's just, pretty amazing, really.
I've missed loads of school.
I didn't go to school today, because I had a bad nosebleed.
So that was not great, at all.
You may think that last bit about missing school is cool,
but not to me.
I love school, and my friends are super important to me.
-Are you recording this?
And missing tonnes of school means there's always
a lot of catching up to do.
You need to concentrate on what you're doing
to make sure your stitches are beautiful.
Not that I mind, as long as it's not geography!
You've done a fabulous job,
and you've all completed your juggling balls and your bag,
and you can take them all home with you today.
So, here we go. For all of that beautiful work that you've completed
for me, it's a very well done.
But even at school, I have to be careful.
Bye, Miss. Thank you. Bye.
If someone bumps into me, it could set off a nosebleed.
So I have to leave class early to avoid the rush.
And if my heart rate goes up too high, this can also set off a bleed.
What my friends are doing over there now, I wish I could do.
Yes, I hate rugby.
Yes, I hate the cold weather,
but I just like to experience what a normal child would do in PE, really.
But I can use a camera.
And for the last four years, I've been uploading vlogs.
Hi, it's Nikki from Nikki Lilly.
Well, hello, everybody!
I love to share my passions...
I really love this colour.
..my obsession with baking...
So today, I'm going to be showing you how to make
confetti cake in a jar.
..and loads of other stuff too!
It's just before bedtime, please excuse my attire,
I have toothpaste on my spots!
But most importantly, it allows me to share how I feel about myself.
My AVM wasn't doing great,
and I just didn't think that anyone would like me any more.
I just thought I looked like a monster and I was ugly,
because kids at eight and also before that,
aren't used to someone with veins on their face,
but some people would comment that I was beautiful
and I got a couple more comments like that, and it made...
Not made me feel happy, because I don't mind
about not being the most beautiful girl in the world.
I care about inner beauty.
But when I saw people comment such lovely things and like my video,
it just really was heart-warming to me.
And it was one of those things that made me really excited.
My parents watch everything I upload.
That is so good.
And now, so do the 105,000 people that follow me.
Hi, it's Nikki from Nikki Lilly.
My Getting Ready For Prom video has nearly 1.5 million views.
But the more views I get, the more I'm asked,
"What's wrong with your face?"
"You look strange".
And it's not just online that people are curious.
My AVM is... It's quite noticeable.
Like, a lot of people stare at me.
You can tell I've got veins on my face.
Those are the first things you see, like when you see me.
Though I don't really care about people's opinions,
it's the staring that really gets to me.
So, one of the best things about having a channel is that it's made
me be able to get in contact with not only viewers that have become my
best friends today, but also people that have an AVM,
and it's made me feel a lot less alone and a lot more connected.
Someone I've really connected with online is another Nikki.
She's also got a facial AVM,
and we've had lots of similar experiences.
So, do people ever stare at you?
It was a lot worse when I was younger, though.
I feel so free and open talking to you, because you understand.
I get that too, a lot.
It's so much easier being able to talk to someone who understands,
especially having a face AVM.
It's not as easy to hide your face.
-Even with make up, you can still see that there is
something wrong, well, "wrong".
It's when they stare at you and don't sort of have the decency
to say, "Oh, I was just wondering what happened to your face?"
-Or something like that.
-It's worse when you can hear them whispering
-..to their friends and it's like...
Talk to me. I'd rather they asked instead of stared.
Asked what's wrong, and what's happened.
Yeah, I get a lot of pity.
-Yeah, I don't want pity.
-I don't want pity.
I educate them on AVMs.
Or tell them what it's really like.
Talking with Nikki makes me even more determined
to get my message out there.
So, I have a illness called an AVM.
Which stands for arteriovenous malformation.
I used to wish this was face paint.
Some nights I used to get a flannel and wet it and scrub my face because
I couldn't believe it was not going to come off.
And, after a while I realised I was going to continue getting veins,
so you can either be negative and just not enjoy life,
or you can be positive and live a lovely, healthy,
joyful and happy life.
As well as vlogging,
there's something else that makes me feel good.
Me and my mum are making a orange and passion fruit mascarpone...
Is that cream?
-Yeah, I guess so.
You guessed it, baking!
White chocolate buttercream and peanut butter buttercream,
and a chocolate buttercream.
Nikki, she lives, breathes, baking really.
Especially if she's not feeling very well,
just by putting a few ingredients into the bowl,
she would bake things and give them to people,
and just cheers her up, really.
And I've never missed an episode of Junior Bake Off!
From thousands of applications, 40 have made it
to the Bake Off tent...
A couple of months ago, I applied to be on the show.
Hello! So, we absolutely loved meeting you at your audition,
so I'm thrilled to say that you've made it
onto Junior Bake Off this year!
Oh, wow! Thank you!
We have a gobsmacked child here now!
'Yes, me, lost for words!
I'm on the Bake Off!
I'm on the Bake Off!
-I'm on the Bake Off!
I'm really happy for you. I'm happy for me too, lots more cakes for me!
I'm on the Bake Off!
So, for me now, my half term, my weekends, my everyday life,
and my thoughts are going to be about baking,
baking, baking consistently!
OK, I'll get you a rolling pin...
-Can I put all of them in?
Can you put all of the bourbons into a bowl, and then bash them up?
Just go... Ooh. Get your anger out!
My best mates have come round to help me practice.
So, you're making Neapolitan.
So now can you break it all up like into little pieces, both of them.
Yeah. Measure out 50g.
I'll need to try as many different recipes as I can
so I can wow the Junior Bake Off judges!
These are the bowls for the buttercream!
Not that my friends even know I'm going to be on it...
Until it goes out on telly, I'm not allowed to tell anyone.
That's going to be tough.
But we don't stop talking about what's happening online.
It fell on the floor!
What do you guys watch more? Television, or like...?
I get up in the morning, have my alarm,
listen to music whilst I get ready
and then whilst I'm eating my breakfast,
I'll just watch stuff, and then I come back from school,
watch stuff till I go to bed.
I eat with, like, my mum, so she's...
It's kind of OK because she watches it with me.
So it's like acceptable, so...
I like Joella.
-I think I know why.
-I really like him.
-I also really like, Alfie Deyes.
-His gaming videos.
-I like his vlogs.
I don't know why. I watch them all the time now.
Their videos are good quality.
They're just likeable people, I think.
Yeah, yeah, they're very relatable,
even though we are younger than most of them, they are very relatable.
For me and my friends, vlogging is everything.
Hi, guys. Welcome back.
One of my heroes is Em Ford.
I love the vlogs on make-up and the fact she's so honest
about her skin problems.
And one of Em's vlogs has nearly 22 million views.
I would love to get as many views as her,
so I'm heading into central London, cos get this,
she's agreed to give me some tips on vlogging.
Someone like Em that's got like 800,000 subscribers,
it's quite daunting.
Cos she's one of my favourite YouTubers,
I don't want to be really fan girlie.
-Hello, how are you?
-Good, thank you.
-Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you.
And she's even agreed to do a vlog with me.
It's Nikki from Nikki Lilly
and today I'm here with the amazing Em Ford.
-OK, here are Em Ford's top tips on vlogging.
Number one, what does it take to make a great vlog?
Just make content that you're interested in.
It's like how would your friends describe this video?
Yeah, that's a really good tip.
I think it's really important, cos I feel like people can tell
when you're interested or not.
My favourite videos that you do are sort of your confidence ones
and when you do the make-up tutorials on Snapchat photos.
-I love them ones.
Number two, how do you deal with getting negative feedback.
Negative feedback can be a little bit tricky.
-It really, really affected me when I first started getting it,
but, you know, there's that saying, like, "Happy people don't troll."
-And it's kind of true.
Because happy people generally have a lot more...
They're busy. They have better things to do.
So I guess, just block, delete...
-That's what I do.
-..and tell somebody.
-Just make sure that somebody knows.
Number three, how do you keep yourself safe online?
The most important thing, first of all is,
don't tell people where you live.
Be very careful about what you show.
-So, if you're going to do your outfit pictures, for example,
don't do them right in front of your house...
-..because somebody could work out where you live.
Don't talk about your school, don't show your school uniform.
If you're showing something that you've bought,
or you're doing and unboxing video, make sure you put permanent marker
over your address so no-one can kind of see it.
And if you're ever unsure, check with your parents,
check with a friend and see what they say, yeah.
But please remember to ask an adult before you upload anything.
I used to sit in a park and skateboard when I was your age!
-That's all right!
-You know, you're doing better than me.
-Thank you so much.
-You're so amazing.
As the first heats of Junior Bake Off get closer,
I need to step up to the mixer and practice as much as I can.
I thought I would show you that cake
that I was talking to you guys about.
At the top, it had freeze-dried raspberries,
white chocolate frosting and then I have my bread rolls
which are very big and then I made these marzipan bees.
But some days, my AVM gives me such bad headaches,
it knocks me out of the running and my baking practice
has to be put on hold.
Here, I've got painkillers. Do you need a painkiller?
-There you go.
That's for you headache, OK?
You're probably wondering where I am.
I'm under my bed, because the migraines have been so bad
and severe that I can't really face any light
and it's been quite a rough day,
so I'm still so glad that I got into the Bake Off and stuff like that,
and life is still great, but sadly, I've had kind of a bit of a bad day.
# Somewhere over the rainbow... #
Three years ago, I had headaches all the time and nosebleeds every day.
I love this video.
Doctors said there was no treatment they could give me to stop me AVM
from getting worse.
But my dad did lots of research and found out there was a chance that a
hospital in America could help.
Now every two months, I fly to Denver for ten days at a time
to have surgery at the Swedish Medical Centre,
surgery that has literally saved my life.
I've got like a scar on my neck from last year
when I had a really big operation.
They had to cut my neck open.
'Take exit 201 on the right to US285 South.'
We've been to Denver about 16 times for operations
and this operation will be my 27th altogether.
So, yeah, I've had quite a few.
One of the good things about coming to Denver
is that I know exactly where to get the best
peach mascarpone pancakes in town!
-Mmm, that's nice.
-Like when you made your macapeach macaroons?
And food definitely takes my mind off the reason I'm here.
Nikki, how are you? How are you feeling?
I'm a bit nervous.
Although people call me brave,
and people think I'm really positive and inspirational,
I do have my times that I don't show too much, when I'm feeling really
scared and it's like I'm having my first operation all over again.
Cos I don't know what's happening.
They put me to sleep and I can't wake up.
And because it is quite a risky procedure, I get really nervous.
MUSIC: Turning Tables by Adele
Can you sit up for me?
First, I see my hero, Doctor Yates.
He is a pioneer in operating on AVMs.
What are you doing today?
Like always, sweetheart, what we're going to do is have you
asleep with an anaesthesiologist and we're going to look at everything
and then we'll see what areas we need to take today. OK?
So when I'm asleep, he'll inject a chemical called ethanol into my AVM.
This helps to stop it growing.
Then it's off to see my other hero,
ear nose and throat specialist, Doctor Hepworth.
It sounds like things are looking a lot better
but I want to confirm that.
Your skin, all the little changes to the skin are looking great.
You're a TV star now!
My surgery normally takes about three hours
but I think it feels longer for my mum and dad.
It is taking time.
It is a slow process but Nikki is getting better.
The actual AVM itself is improving.
It's really painful and my face can look worse after,
but I know it's helping me fight my AVM.
So it is the last day in Denver today and I haven't talked
to you guys for a while and I just wanted to catch up, really,
as you can see.
I cut my hair, I've got all my comfy clothes on.
I've got some new tracksuit bottoms from the sports shop,
which I really love and I'm going to wear them on the plane.
I really like my new hair. It looks really nice on camera.
With only days to go before Junior Bake Off starts,
it's my last chance to perfect my show stopping cake.
-I can make a bagel.
-No, you can't. I'm baking. No, you can't.
I'm baking. Sorry.
I am making a rose and chocolate four-layered ombre cake,
so there's a vanilla, then a white chocolate, then milk chocolate,
then dark chocolate and on top, there's going to be a dark chocolate
drizzle and then edible rose petals and some chopped pistachios.
The Junior Bake Off rules say that you only have an hour and a half
to bake, ice and decorate your cake.
But so far, I haven't yet finished on time.
OK, Nikki. Bakers, stop.
White chocolate, are you going to put it in the microwave?
-Have you measured it?
But if I did win, I can't even, like, explain how amazing it would
be, but if I didn't win, I would just be so happy with the experience
and I'd probably want to do it all over again.
-Maybe I can have a cup of tea!
-No, you can't!
Mummy, your hair's gone white.
I am really nervous but, yeah, I think I've just got to try and
stay cool and relax and try and remember everything,
take it in my stride.
Ooh, my hair!
I think she does get a little bit flustered sometimes.
But under pressure, she does really well under pressure.
I forgot to turn my oven on, so...
-Want a time check?
-I know I've got 33 minutes.
And I still need to ice it!
I really hope that the cakes cool and nothing melts
and it just goes OK.
That's what I'm really nervous about.
I have six minutes.
That means I have one minute to decorate. Oh, no!
But as usual, I haven't quite finished it on time.
-It looks so good.
Don't squeeze my head off!
That looks amazing.
It's so good.
And while my family love it,
is it going to be enough to impress the Junior Bake Off judges?
After spending months practising my cakes and savoury dishes,
the day of Junior Bake Off has arrived.
So I've got Millie, my bunny, and my bag full of lots of things
and my sister straightened my hair
because it was an absolute frizz bomb.
So, yes, it's about time to leave now and I will catch up with you
when we get in the car, I think, and we are on our way.
Me, Mum and Millie are setting off
on my most nerve-racking journey yet.
Nervous, nervous, nervous! I'm so nervous.
-Are you going to start crying?
-No, I'm not going to cry.
Now it's finally here, it feels weird.
It doesn't actually feel real.
-Yeah, that's what I think.
-Like, I know I'm here,
but it doesn't actually... I feel like I'm having a dream.
Don't you feel like you're going to wake up...
-And it's like, yeah...
-I have to, like, pinch myself.
I'm up against 40 of the best junior bakers in the UK.
In five rounds, my baking skills are tested to the limit.
I surprised myself by getting into the final.
Then, I produced my show stopping garden party cake.
Now, it's up to the judges to decide.
The winner of Junior Bake Off 2016 is...
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Well done, Nikki!
# I'm on top of the world
# I'm on top of the world... #
I do still have my bad days.
I do still have nosebleeds.
I do still have people staring at me and my life isn't perfect,
but I get to school so much more often.
I have a great group of friends that care about me
and I have some great teachers,
and it's just nice to feel like I fit in, in this world.
I've got really low battery.
It's flashing red and it's making me really anxious, so I'm going to go.
Bye, everyone. Love you.
Documentary following Junior Bake Off winner Nikki. 12-year-old Nikki, who has also just won a Pride of Britain Award, is a rising star in the world of vlogging, with over 80,000 followers. She uploads new videos weekly, vlogging about baking, beauty, family, friends and her daily life.
The original motivation for her social media channel was her medical situation. Nikki has a facial AVM, a very rare and life-threatening condition which gives her heavy nosebleeds and headaches. Nikki has spent literally months in hospital. Nikki visits Great Ormond Street for monthly regular check-ups, as well as flying to Denver, Colorado, every other month for groundbreaking surgery.
Due to the amount of time Nikki has spent in hospital, she has missed lots of school and has, at times, become a little isolated from other children. Nikki wanted to share her story with others and this is why she started vlogging.
This film follows Nikki over the summer of 2016, covering everything from her trips to the US for treatment to her passion for increasing her vlogging channel and meeting a vlogging celeb, plus her entire Bake Off journey, from her first phone call to reaching the final.
Using Nikki's own video diaries and vlogs, this film is a very honest and intimate portrait of a young girl, who - through her own strength and determination - is a true winner and an inspiration.