Hayley Squires: "I'm the Great British Bake Off Winner 2025"
"Having 7000 cups of tea a day in my garden. Winning countless games of Rummikub." Hayley Squires is doing lockdown right. She spoke to us about Adult Material, the importance of the NHS, and more
Hayley Squires may be best known for I, Daniel Blake – an incredibly powerful depiction of one man's struggles against a system that has no space for him.
The 2016 Palme d'Or winner has only become more vital in the years since its release. Watch it if you haven't already.
Adult Material, Squires's next project, examines the porn industry from the perspective of Jolene Dollar, a woman who has been working in it her entire adult life. Judging by the trailer, it's another one to add to your watchlist.
Squires is dividing her lockdown between cups of tea and games of Rummikub, a solid setup.
Shoutout to her friends Jason and Kate – working the NHS frontline.
What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about?
I'm excited about Adult Material being shared with audiences and Jolene Dollar being unleashed on the world. It's important to a lot of us and we took great care making it.
A feature film script that I've been working on for a while is starting to take shape too which I'm excited about.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
The way that I, Daniel Blake was received. It seemed to change the opinions and actions of a lot of people, from how they voted to the charity work they engaged in. To know that the film caused a wave of positive action is a good feeling.
If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?
I wouldn't change anything so far, it's all happened this way for a reason I think. If I could change one thing about how I approach my career it would be to be more disciplined.
What do you hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?
I want to direct. It feels like something that's been on my mind for a long time. I need to educate myself a bit about it first but it's something I want to try.
Outside of your family, who is / was your biggest inspiration?
My inspirations change depending on what state my life is in. Normally musicians or writers.
At the moment, my friends Jason and Kate who are frontline NHS workers are my biggest inspiration. Imagine their days right now? Takes a lot of strength.
Tell us something nobody knows about you…
Absolutely not. I'm the Great British Bake Off Winner 2025.
How are you finding lockdown?
I'm finding it relatively calm. Fortunately. It's a strange and devastating time for everyone. Staying in my house is not a hardship and is the easiest any of us could have it in these circumstances. I find painting skirting boards quite peaceful.
Best thing about lockdown?
Asking my best mate Bill what he thinks we should eat next every twenty minutes. Having 7000 cups of tea a day in my garden. Winning countless games of Rummikub. Seeing gestures of kindness and help from people.
Worst thing about lockdown?
Not being able to see family and friends. That feeling that you aren't doing enough to help.
It's so difficult to do nothing when there are people working every day to take care of those who are ill and trying to protect us. It's hard not to think about the state of things after this.
Top tip for surviving lockdown?
Get dressed every day. Open your windows and let light and air in. Call the people you love if you aren't with them. Limit your news intake. Make a playlist.
I made one on Spotify. Nine hours of guaranteed happiness that I've sent to my mates.
If you could be locked down with one person, alive or dead, who would it be?
I'd probably stick with Bill. He's a good lockdown buddy so far. He makes me feel sick with laughter every day and is the only one who could put up with me. If not him... Dolly Parton.
What are you most looking forward to doing once lockdown is over?
Danger being relieved for millions of people. Our nation-wide collective understanding of how important the NHS is. Chips and gravy from my favourite place. Going to see my Nan for a dance.