The Hairy Bikers
You can catch The Hairy Bikers cooking live in the Big Kitchen on Sunday 18 June at the BBC Good Food Show Summer 2023!
With their irresistible enthusiasm, Si King and Dave Myers, aka The Hairy Bikers, have become national treasures. Big hearted, down-to-earth cooks with a love of good food, they have been cooking together for more than twenty years. They have created haute cuisine dishes with Michelin-starred chefs and travelled the world in the pursuit of great food. They’ve also explored the length and breadth of the British Isles to discover brand new recipes and create their own fresh takes on cooking classics.
The stars of several hit television shows, they are the UK’s most popular cookery writing duo. Their first diet book THE HAIRY DIETERS: HOW TO LOVE FOOD AND LOSE WEIGHT toppled 50 SHADES OF GREY from the top of the bestsellers charts in summer 2012 and remained in that position for six weeks. It still comfortably tops the fist of the best-selling cookbooks of 2013, outselling its nearest rival by almost two-and-a-half copies to one. Their second diet book EAT FOR LIFE did equally well whilst their third GOOD EATING was published last October with a fourth due out this year.
Born and bred in Barrow-in-Furness in North West England, Dave Myers’ versatile skills have taken him to some unusual places. He worked as a furnace-man in a steelworks whilst a student, to finance a degree and postgraduate studies in Fine Arts at Goldsmiths, where he studied egg tempera and the work of the Old Masters. On graduating, Dave joined the BBC as a make-up artist, specialising in prosthetics. He went on to work on numerous feature films and high-profile television series, notably LIVES AND LOVES OF A SHE DEVIL, PRIME SUSPECT and the hit BBC1 series SPOOKS. His career has taken him from Hollywood to the African deserts. He’s also travelled extensively away from work, picking up recipes and cultures almost as fast as he’s made friends all over the world, not the least of whom is Simon King, Dave’s boon travelling companion and the other half of the Hairy Biking duo.
Hailing from Newcastle in North East England, Si is a big, blonde-bearded biker with an infectious laugh, and a charm and sense of humour that’s a skeleton key when it comes to getting into people’s hearts and homes. This easy congeniality and warmth served him well for years in his work as a First Assistant Director and Locations Manager for film and television (including the HARRY POTTER series of films), but his passions lie elsewhere. A love of food was encouraged early by Si’s family and particularly his father, who would bring back exotic ingredients from his voyages with the Royal Navy, and Si’s enthusiasm is matched by his own children’s willingness to try new kinds of food. Si and Dave are life-long foodies and passionate cooks; they met through work on the set of a drama (appropriately enough on a Catherine Cookson adaptation) and they take every opportunity they can to pack their panniers and head off in search of authentic culinary and cultural experiences in all corners of the world.
For BBC2 they have made: two series of THE HAIRY BIKERS’ COOKBOOK; THE HAIRY BIKERS RIDE AGAIN; THE HAIRY BIKERS COME HOME and the four-part series THE HAIRYBAKERS which won audiences of over four million viewers. This was rounded off with THE HAIRY BAKERS’ CHRISTMAS SPECIAL drawing audiences of around 5 million.
Meanwhile Dave shocked himself by winning CELEBRITY MASTERMIND, and he and Si came a creditable second on THE WEAKEST LINK. The last few years have been busy for both, with a giant 30 part series for BBC2 called THE HAIRY BIKERS’ FOOD TOUR OF BRITAIN followed by THE HAIRY BIKERS’ TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS and two major prime time series of MUMS KNOW BEST for BBC2. THE HAIRY BIKERS’ COOK OFF – mixing cooking and celebrity chat -screened on BBC2 in autumn 2010 and ran every weekday afternoon for eight weeks. MEALS ON WHEELS ran on BBC2 in autumn 2011 followed by the major BBC2 series BEST OF BRITISH which screened on BBC Daytime attracting upwards of 1.7m viewers per episode and an average of 5,000 hits to the website each day. BEST OF BRITISH also achieved an Appreciation Index (AI) of 92, an all-time record for a daytime BBC2 show. The series was repeated in ten special hour long reversions from January 2012 and a second series screened in early 2013. Meanwhile THE HAIRY BIKERS’ CHRISTMAS PARTY aired in December 2011.
In spring 2012 Si and Dave were seen baking their way across Europe in THE HAIRY BIKERS’ BAKEATION, for BBC2 primetime. THE HAIRY BIKERS’ MISSISSIPPI ADVENTURE followed as they biked the length of the iconic river for Mentorn Media and Good Food. Their BBC2 series THE HAIRY DIETERS: HOW TO LOVE FOOD AND LOSE WEIGHT was a critical andratings success; the boys shed more than six stone between them and the tie-in paperback book remained at the very top of the charts. EVERYDAY GOURMETS screened in early 2013 on BBC2; THE HAIRY BIKERS’ RESTORATION ROAD TRIP was shown on BBC2 that summer followed by MEALS ON WHEELS BACK ON THE ROAD. The boys then filmed THE HAIRY BIKERS’ ASIAN ADVENTURE (BBC2). And of course Dave excelled himself in late 2013 when he was an enthusiastic and popular contestant on BBC1’s STRICTLY COME DANCING. Following a break as Si recovered from a brain aneurism, the Hairies got back on their bikes in 2015 with some brand new and very varied TV series: COOKING THE NATION’S FAVOURITE FOOD screened in the spring whilst NORTHERN EXPOSURE screened on BBC2 in the autumn.THE PUBS THAT BUILT BRITAIN and OLD SCHOOL, both for BBC2 aired this Spring, whilst Dave will be seen presenting a 15 x 30 min series THE HAIRY BUILDER also for BBC2. In 2010 the Hairy Bikers performed their sell-out BIG NIGHT OUT show in theatres across the UK. Directed by Bob Mortimer, it was a light-hearted mix of cooking and chat with some song and dance thrown in. It explored their youth, how they met and their shared love of food and travel. They completed another ambitious nationwide theatre tour in April 2013.
In summer 2011 the Hairies brought out a range of chilled prepared meals across Tesco stores, followed by Booths, using some of their favourite recipes – with a twist. In November 2013 they brought out a range of low-fat cooking sauces bursting with flavour, based on recipes from their book followed by a range of low-fat Indian sauces. In Christmas 2013 they launched a range of cookware which continues to sell in Boots stores across the UK with a new range hitting the shelves this Christmas.
The Hairy Bikers have written fifteen books to date, two published by Michael Joseph/Penguin, and thirteen titles by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (an imprint of The Orion Publishing Group) including the bestselling THE HAIRY BIKERS’ PERFECT PIES, 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, BIG BOOK OF BAKING, THE HAIRY BIKERS’ GREAT CURRIES and three phenomenally successful diet books, THE HAIRY DIETERS: HOW TO LOVE FOOD AND LOSE WEIGHT, THE HAIRY DIETERS: EAT FOR LIFE and GOOD EATING published last October. THE HAIRY BIKERS’ ASIAN ADVENTURE was released in early 2014 and saw the boys returning to the top of the hardback non-fiction charts once again. MEAT FEASTS was published in September 2015 with their memoirs, BLOOD, SWEAT AND TYRES, published on 5th November. Dave lives with his wife and step-children in Barrow-in-Furness and France’s Loire Valley and Si lives near Newcastle.