Dave Myers’s health history after Hairy Bikers star dies from cancer

Dave Myers, one-half of TV cooking duo The Hairy Bikers, has died at the age of 66, two years after revealing he had been diagnosed with cancer.

Throughout his cancer treatment, Myers continued to share candid details about his health in several episodes of their series, but decided he would never publicly reveal what type of cancer he was diagnosed with, because he worried the public might start drawing conclusions about his health.

He told The Guardian in 2022 that he had never announced which type “because everybody then goes Googling, everybody becomes an amateur doctor... And I don’t want to be judged – yet.”

Myers, from Barrow-in-Furness, found fame alongside Si King 20 years ago and became known for travelling the world on their motorbikes and trying out foods from different regions.

Their latest series, The Hairy Bikers Go West, started this month and sees them travel down the UK’s west coast.

May 2022

The BBC chef first publicly revealed he had the disease on the podcast he co-hosts alongside presenting partner King, titled Agony Uncles, in May 2022.

He told listeners he would be taking a step back from filming and attending food festivals throughout the summer, stating: “Anyway Kingy, I’ve got to come clean now. I haven’t been too well recently and basically, I’ve got to have some chemo, you know all this anyway, so this year is going to be a bit quiet for me.”

In a June 2023 interview with The Times, King revealed that Myers immediately called him after learning of his diagnosis.

Dave Myers, one of TV’s Hairy Bikers, who has died (PA Archive)
Dave Myers, one of TV’s Hairy Bikers, who has died (PA Archive)

“I was driving. I had to pull over,” he said, adding: “It’s so distressing. It’s very difficult to verbalise. There’s a sense of loss, but there’s also that sense of hope, you know, knowing my mate as I do.”

King called Myers “a scrapper” and “a fighter”, adding: “But there were certain points that I thought, ‘Where’s it going to go? What is happening to my friend?’”

September 2022

Hairy Bikers Simon King and Dave Myers (PA)
Hairy Bikers Simon King and Dave Myers (PA)

In September 2022, Myers revealed he was undergoing chemotherapy and started losing his hair.

”I just miss having my beard – the feeling of it, because your skin’s different and all peachy,” ” Myers said during an episode of his podcast Agony Uncles. “No, I want my beard back. I’m alright with my hair – I think the bald head and beard’s the way to go for a biker.”

In December 2022, Myers thanked his doctors and nurses in Birmingham who helped in his recovery, as well as the rehabilitation staff who “got me walking again”.

Myers reflected on his treatment during the 2023 festive edition of The Hairy Bikers: Coming Home for Christmas alongside his wife Liliana Orzac.

Recalling the moment he was told the news over the phone, the chef said: “What went through my mind was disbelief, and a refusal to believe it in a way”, adding: “It’s the word, isn’t it? The word that everybody fears”.

Myers said his first round of chemotherapy was “very very destructive”, and that he dealt with immobility, depression and several side effects.

He explained: “You don’t realise what an impact it can have, the debilitating effects kick in quite quickly. My sense of taste and appetite went. I was poorly. You see your weight drop and you’ve got to eat, but it’s finding something you want to eat.”

March 2023

In other interviews, he disclosed that during chemotherapy, he was dealing with depression.

Speaking on the How To Be 60 podcast in March 2023, he told host Kaye Adams: “It’s a type of chemical depression and that’s really hard, because everyone is telling you to be positive, but when the chemistry in your body is not telling you that story, that’s harsh.

“Hopefully there will be more positive chapters beyond this,” he said, adding that some days he felt “fine” but on others he “just needs to go to bed” and likened it to sleeping off “a bad hangover”.

Dave Myers in the latest series of ‘Hairy Bikers’ (The Hairy Bikers Go West, BBC)
Dave Myers in the latest series of ‘Hairy Bikers’ (The Hairy Bikers Go West, BBC)

Spring 2023

Myers returned to work in Spring 2023 and started making TV appearances again, and began filming the duo’s newest series The Hairy Bikers Go West, which launched on 6 February.

In one episode, Myers expressed how delighted he was to be back at work and filming the show again as he explored Lancashire alongside his friend King.

“It’s been glorious. The motorcycling’s been glorious. What can I say? It feels so good to be alive,” Myers said.

King added that it was great to be back on his bike with his “best mate”.

Elsewhere in the new series, he shared an update on his health and his experience with chemotherapy, saying: “At one point I was diagnosed as anorexic. Can you believe it after all the dieting we’ve done?

Si King and Dave Myers in their BBC cooking programme, ‘The Hairy Bikers Go West’ (BBC/South Shore Productions/PA Wire)
Si King and Dave Myers in their BBC cooking programme, ‘The Hairy Bikers Go West’ (BBC/South Shore Productions/PA Wire)

“But yeah, I’m doing alright now, I’m living with it. My weight’s stable so whatever I’m doing, I’ll carry on with it.”

The TV star also shared his chemotherapy treatment caused him to suffer loss of balance, and feared he would be unable to ride a motorcycle on the show again.

“When I was told I was ill, I never thought I’d ride a motorcycle again. But we’re doing it!" he said to his friend. “There was a time when I couldn’t balance, I couldn’t walk. I didn’t think I’d be getting on a bike. But I’m sound as a pound mate.”

“I’ve still got my foot in a splint to change gear but it works. It’s joyous. I love the whole paraphernalia with the bike, the smell of the bike. It’s a dream come true, Kingy. I appreciate it so much.”

The Hairy Bikers (BBC/South Shore Productions/PA Wire)
The Hairy Bikers (BBC/South Shore Productions/PA Wire)

News of Myer’s death was announced on Thursday (29 February), in a statement shared online.

“Hi everyone, I’m afraid I bear some sad news,” King wrote in a statement shared to the official Hairy Bikers X account as tributes poured in for the celebrity chef.

“Most of you will know Dave has been fighting cancer for the past couple of years. Last night, on 28th February 2024, with Lili, Dave’s wife, his family, close friend David and myself by his side, he passed away peacefully at home.

“All who knew Dave are devastated at his passing. His beloved wife brought him such happiness as did her children, Iza and Sergiu who Dave loved like his own.”