UK

Dave Myers: The Hairy Biker who toured the globe with sidekick Si King

The TV chef and his friend and co-presenter cooked up a storm while visiting countries across the world.

Hairy Bikers Si King and Dave Myers
Dave Myers death Hairy Bikers Si King and Dave Myers (Ian West/PA)

David “Dave” Myers became beloved as one half of the motorcycle-riding cooking duo, The Hairy Bikers, with fellow chef Simon “Si” King.

He died aged 66 on Wednesday with his family and friends by his side after fighting cancer for the past couple of years.

The TV chef did not specify what type of cancer he had after announcing he was undergoing chemotherapy in May 2022.

Si King and Dave Myers
Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards – London Si King and Dave Myers (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

King said he “will miss him every day and the bond and friendship we shared over half a lifetime” as he announced Myers’ death on social media.

“I wish you god’s speed brother; you are and will remain a beacon in this world. See you on the other side. Love ya,” he added in a statement to X, formerly Twitter.

He also thanked well-wishers for sending messages of support to Myers, saying: “It meant the world to him, his family and all The Hairy Bikers team”.

Following his diagnosis, Myers briefly took a break from work before filming his last show with King, which sees them travel west across Britain from Scotland to Devon.

King previously said that the series, The Hairy Bikers Go West, which is airing on BBC Two, would be one they would “always remember”.

“We are very privileged to do what we do and I think this one was particularly special in general because of Dave’s health and his sheer and utter determination and love for what he does”, he added.

“Especially to continue to do it while he was having treatment took remarkable courage and energy – and adds to why Dave and I will not forget it.”

The 57-year-old presenter said the travelogue was “a celebration of a joyous and creative friendship” and he was happy they returned to his co-presenter’s original home of Lancashire during the series.

Born in Barrow-in-Furness, Myers’ wide variety of skills helped him enjoy many different experiences during his life.

As a student he worked in a steelworks to help finance his studies in fine arts.

He later joined the BBC as a make-up artist, specialising in prosthetics.

In 1995, Myers met his long-time co-presenter King on the set of a TV drama, and they went on to build a friendship and successful career together.

Their combination of riding their motorcycles to locations across the world and cooking up a storm as they went earned them a loyal following.

The pair also won over viewers with their cheeky northern humour and enthusiasm.

Their first show, The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook, was launched on the BBC in 2006 and saw them ride across countries including Portugal, Romania and Namibia, tasting the local cuisine and experimenting with making it themselves.

Karen Hauer and Dave Myers perform on Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing 2013 Karen Hauer and Dave Myers perform on Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/PA)

The bearded duo went on to film many other series and specials for the broadcaster, seeking out new dishes in countries such as India, Vietnam, Argentina and Mexico.

They also sampled cuisines of places nearer to home, such as Ireland and the Isle of Man.

Across their career they published more than 30 cookbooks together.

Myers also competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 alongside professional dancer Karen Hauer.

After performing dances including the salsa, jive and paso doble, the pair were voted off the competition in week seven.

He also appeared as a guest on a host of shows including Sunday Brunch, Countdown, Would I Lie To You?, All Star Family Fortunes and The Weakest Link.

In November, King told BBC Breakfast that their more than 30-year friendship came “naturally” to them as they were “good mates” and “part each other’s families”.

Myers also recalled during the interview that King had cooked him his favourite comfort food of mince and dumplings while he was being treated for cancer.

TV chef Dave Myers
TV Choice Awards 2017 – London TV chef Dave Myers (Ian West/PA)

At the time, the TV chef said he had been “really enjoying life” as he had got back to riding his bike and filming with his “best mate”.

Myers had previously spoken about other health struggles, including discovering he had glaucoma – an eye condition that can lead to blindness.

In 2018, he revealed he had originally dismissed the condition as a bad hangover.

He had also opened up about losing weight through the years by cutting out carbs and alcohol in a bid to become healthier.

For a BBC Two series, A Cook Abroad, Myers had to travel to Egypt without King after he suffered a brain aneurysm in 2014, which his co-presenter later said he was only able to survive thanks to considerable weight loss.

Myers was married to Liliana Orzac, whom he met while filming Hairy Bikers in Romania, and was a stepfather to her two children, Iza and Sergiu, from a previous relationship.