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Dave Myers death: Hairy Bikers star dies after cancer diagnosis, aged 66

Dave Myers, the TV chef best known as one half of the Hairy Bikers and who won new fans as a competitor on Strictly Come Dancing, has died from cancer aged 66.

“I’m afraid I bear some sad news,” his co-star Si King said in a statement 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 28 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.”

“Personally, I am not sure I can put into words on how I feel at the moment. My best friend is on a journey that for now, I can’t follow. I will miss him every day and the bond and friendship we shared over half a lifetime. 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 continued: “I know Dave and his family would want me to thank all of you who sent messages of support in recent times. It meant the world to him, his family and all the Hairy Bikers team. I am sending you all much love and gratitude for those simple acts of kindness, generosity and spirit. We are eternally grateful for them.

“May I ask you all for one further kindness and allow Lili, his wife, his family, close friends and I some time and some peace to process our huge loss. I am sure I will see you all soon. Love Si.”

Myers, who hailed from Barrow-in-Furness, first revealed his cancer diagnosis on Agony Uncles, the podcast he shared with King.

Si King and Dave Myers (BBC/South Shore Productions/Jon Boast)
Si King and Dave Myers (BBC/South Shore Productions/Jon Boast)

In May 2022, he told listeners he would be taking a step back from filming and attending food festivals while he received treatment.

“Kingy, I’ve got to come clean now,” he said. “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.

“I’m not going to be filming, some of the festivals I’m not going to be able to go to, some I may be OK, but this year’s a bit of a write off for us.”

He continued: “I would love it if people respected my privacy and just let me get on with it and give Si and our team all the support they need, that would be great.”

Myers’ working relationship with King began in 1995. The pair met on TV drama The Gambling Man, where Myers was working as a make-up artist specialising in prosthetics.

‘Hairy Bikers’ star Dave Myers has died (BBC)
‘Hairy Bikers’ star Dave Myers has died (BBC)

The duo made their debut as the Hairy Bikers on The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook in 2004, and have presented numerous shows together over the years.

These include The Hairy Bikers’ Food Tour of Britain in 2009, The Hairy Bikers’ Cook Off in 2010 and The Hairy Bikers’ Asian Adventure in 2014. The projects merged their love of cooking and motorcycles.

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

“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?’”

He revealed that he stayed with Myers, whose first fiancée died of cancer in 1998, during his chemotherapy, which he said made his fellow chef “very, very, very unwell”.

‘Hairy Biker’ Si King announces co-star Dave Myers’s death (Instagram)
‘Hairy Biker’ Si King announces co-star Dave Myers’s death (Instagram)

King went on: “And it’s funny, you know, when you see somebody you love so much in so much distress, it’s very hard to know what to do. My character and personality is, naturally, I just want to fix it. I just want to fix it. I get very distressed when I can’t.”

The pair recently reunited on-screen in an eight-part series titled The Hairy Bikers Go West, which saw them travel the western shores of Britain to experience a wide range of culinary surprises.

Speaking to The Mirror ahead of the new show, Myers said: “It’s unbelievable to be back. Every breath I take now is just refreshing and fabulous.”

He called it “a huge step back to normality”.

The BBC paid tribute to Myers in a statement that read: “Dave made cooking a truly joyful adventure and he shared that joy with millions. The public loved him and his unique partnership with Si. Together they made every viewer feel like a friend.”

In 2013, Myers participated in the 11th series of Strictly Come Dancing. He was partnered with Karen Hauer, and the pair finished in 10th place.

Myers married Liliana Orzac in 2011 after meeting while filming a Hairy Bikers series in Romania.