Woman's Weekly meet the Hairy Bikers

(5 ratings)
The Hairy Bikers' Mums Know Best series

Move aside Morecambe and Wise, budge over Batman and Robin: there's a new dynamic duo on the block. In a few short years, the Hairy Bikers - Si King (he's the blond one) and Dave Myers (the dark one) - have baked, biked and bantered their way to super-stardom.

They're not professional chefs, but lifelong foodies, who firstmet a couple of decades ago on the film set of a Catherine Cookson drama. Si, who's 44, was the assistant director and locations manager,
Dave, 53, was a make-up artist, specialising in prosthetics - often making grisly body parts for programmes such as Spooks and Prime Suspect.

They got on immediately, bonding over their northern roots and a love of food and motorbikes. Both had also known difficult times. Si was eight when his father died, and Dave was the same age when
his mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (she died when he was in his early 20s). By the time he was 14, he'd lost all his hair, and is well aware of the irony of becoming a "hairy" biker. It grew back when he was 40, following an emergency operation to remove a cyst on his brain; he now believes it was the pressure of the cyst that made his hair fall out, rather than the stress of his mother's illness, as people thought at the time.

One of their first adventures together involved filling their motorbike panniers with pans and - with Si's wife, Jane, and their three sons, Alex, James and Dylan - setting off for deepest Aberdeenshire to cook delicious meals for each other.

Many meals and motorbike miles later, "the boys" (as they're known to people they work with)had a brilliant idea: "Wouldn't life be great if we could do nothing but ride motorbikes, cook, and talk codswallop?"

They knew the right people in TV and, more importantly, turned out to be on-screen naturals. Their first series, The Hairy Bikers' Cookbook, in 2005, was an immediate success.
One reviewer, while noting that the pair were "mildly unkempt", and made bad jokes and unhealthy food, also added that "the combination of all these things emanated a sort of gentle happiness, and that's a real achievement".

Last year, a leaked BBC memo revealed that the Hairies were ranked among the corporation's most valued presenters.

Their second series of Mums Know Best has the same unique blend of family food and stories that helped it break audience records first time around. Yet, there's no danger of them having their heads turned by fame. They don't even see themselves as celebrities.

"Celebrities?" laughs Si. "We're just two blokes who enjoy food and get a kick out of going to new places to find new tastes."

All pages in this article

  1. 1. Woman's Weekly meet the Hairy Bikers
  1. 2. Hairy Bikers' answer Woman's Weekly's questions

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