Hayley Sproull has always dreamed of hosting a (real) cooking show and now that dream has become a fun-filled (and cream-filled) reality as she takes up position as host, alongside partner-in-crime Madeleine Sami.  

Hayley has many strings to her bow. A comedian, actor, writer and all round stellar performer, her talents shine through on stage and on screen. Hayley has appeared on a number of web series for TVNZ OnDemand including Hayley’s Kitchen and Interns. Her upcoming doco, Cystic Sisters – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, will air on TVNZ OnDemand later in 2018. Hayley can also be seen showcasing her comedic talents on Jono and Ben and as a panellist on 7 Days.

A Toi Whakaari graduate, her passion for theatre and comedy has led to a number of successful comedy works including: Miss Fetcher Sings the Blues, Vanilla Miraka and Outsiders’ Guide – earning her an array of praise and accolades including Best Newcomer at the NZ International Comedy Festival in 2012, the Chapman Tripp Theatre award for most promising female newcomer in 2013 and The People’s Choice award at the NZ Fringe 2014. She was nominated for an NZ Film Award in 2014 for her role in the short film School Night.

Hayley shines as a one-woman performer, most recently receiving rave reviews for her performance at the 2018 NZ International Comedy Festival for Just a Phase.

What made you sign up for The Great Kiwi Bake Off?

When a job like this pops up on your radar, you don’t let it pass without a fight! Food television is one of my guilty pleasures, so much so I even made a fake cooking show for TVNZ OnDemand called Hayley’s Kitchen, but I’ve always hoped I’d get to host a real one. Hosting Bake Off is truly a dream job.

You and Madeleine have a great on-screen chemistry. Did you know each other before filming?

We’d done a couple of small things together over the years. Now I’d say we’re inseparable sisters who hate it when the other person goes to the toilet because it means we can’t hang out.

How have you found working with Sue and Dean?

Gosh, we love working with Fleischl-Schneider! They’re a lot of fun, but they have to behave a lot more than we do, so we take great pleasure in trying to throw them off track. It’s also fun when they suggest where to eat for dinner, too!

Rumour has it you were sneaking in a few treats during filming?

A few treats??? I’ve eaten more than I ever have in my life – it’s all too delicious to pass up! My waistline has grown, but I’ve enjoyed every second of it and every bite, so who cares.

Who would win in a bake off between you and Madeleine?

Madz. Not because she’s a better baker, but because she has a cheeky smile that lets her get away with anything.

Why do you think Bake Off is such a popular format?

It’s kind – this isn’t a cooking show about sabotage or ego. It’s a lovely show starring people who just simple love to bake, and I think our Kiwi cast has really shown this. You won’t find any bitch sessions or nastiness over here.

Do you ever want to roll your sleeves up and help the bakers when they’re struggling during a Bake?

We did try a couple of times and I definitely think we were much more of a hindrance than a help.

Do you have a baking disaster of your own?

I’ve been doing a lot of paleo baking recently for my partner and I, and let’s just say most of it is a disaster. I mean…there’s no real substitute for butter, flour and sugar…

Sweet or savoury?

Sweet. I’ve got a massive sweet tooth. I need dessert after every meal. Breakfast dessert, lunch dessert…

Describe Bake Off in three words…

Chaos, fun, sweet.