Weekend Herald - Canvas
The Confession Box: Hayley Sproull
Comedian Hayley Sproull confesses to three of the deadly sins
What are you most proud of?
I’m a marching girl and I speak about it at any given opportunity. It is definitely the thing I am most proud of in my life. One of the things you are taught as a young marcher is about pride, which is all about the uniform and holding yourself well and marching your little heart out. I can’t watch a video of me marching without crying. I finished marching at the end of 2016 but I am still involved with my team, helping out with displays and choosing music.
You have taught women in Oman how to march. What was that like?
That was an opportunity that was created by my marching coach [Colleen Pobar] who passed away this year. She started that job and last year she was really busy so I went over with our leader Nicole and taught for a couple of months, which was literally the craziest thing I have ever done. We were very well looked after and we taught a group of about 30 Omani military women how to do the New Zealand style of marching. Now my marching team, Lochiel, is about to head to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo for its final march ever before the team retires at the end of this year. My coach was the only person who could do what she did. Our team was at the top of the sport for more than 50 years and it just feels wrong to carry on without her.
I have always been a joyful person, I have always been a bubbly person but I definitely have a switch and I can be quite short-tempered, quite quickly. I sometimes attribute that to marching because marching is such a sharp sport, it’s a hard sport and it often makes me have this kind of aggressive edge. It comes out a lot in the car; I’m quite a road-rager. No one is as good at driving as I am, is my opinion when I am in the car. I have just always been that way, even as a little kid I was bubbly and funny and silly and then I’d be a stroppy, tantrum-throwing mess. And you know what? I think it gives me a bit of edge and I’m not mad about it. Besides bad drivers, what makes you furious? I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and my hormones are constantly all over the place, so as much I would like to say XYZ makes me angry, often it can be totally unreasonable and unexpected and it’s totally out of my control. It’s a hormonal thing. So it can literally come out of nowhere. I’m having a good day and then I catch my hip on the corner of a counter and it’s all over, rover. It keeps my boyfriend on his toes. I don’t want people to think I’m always going to be the fun, bubbly one. I can turn.
How are you managing your PCOS?
It’s swings and roundabouts. I’m in such a good place with it at the moment. I have been managing it with food which is so boring, and kind of ties into gluttony because one of the main things with PCOS is you can’t process things like sugar and carbohydrates the same way someone without PCOS can. For me, sugar and carbohydrates are life. I have got such a sweet tooth and I crave things that are sweet and “bad” for you, but if I eat like that for any length of time I will spin out and have a really shoddy time. I have been on a keto diet for a few months and it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but also my PCOS has been better.
Does that make hosting a baking show a bit tortuous?
Oh. My. God. Yes. When Mads [co-host Madeleine Sami] and I got the job as hosts, nowhere did it say in our contract that we were required to eat the food. That didn’t stop us. I ate so much of the baking — and it definitely didn’t need to happen and I definitely could have stopped. It put my body into a spin from which it is still recovering now. It’s beautiful buttery, sugary, gorgeous baking — all the things that my body craves and my body hates. The first day on Bake Off last season they made cupcakes and one of them made banoffee pie cupcakes. If you make anything that’s banoffee pie flavoured, I’m going to eat it.