Advertisement

‘My best friend is on a journey that for now, I can’t follow’: Si King leads Dave Myers tributes

Dave Myers and Si King
Dave Myers (left) and Si King made their first TV appearance together on The Hairy Bikers' Cookbook in 2004 - BBC/South Shore Productions/PA

Dave Myers died with his Hairy Bikers partner at his bedside.

Announcing the news, Si King said: “My best friend is on a journey that, for now, I can’t follow.”

Myers died on Wednesday, aged 66, nearly two years after he was diagnosed with cancer.

He and King enjoyed a 20-year partnership as the Hairy Bikers, producing popular television series and best-selling cookbooks based on their travels around the UK and beyond.

Their latest series, The Hairy Bikers Go West, was the first to be filmed since Myers’ diagnosis and began on BBC One earlier this month. The broadcaster will show the remaining three episodes as planned.

Dave Myers revealed that he had been diagnosed with cancer in May 2022
Dave Myers revealed that he had been diagnosed with cancer in May 2022

In a message posted online, King said: “I’m afraid I bear some sad news. 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, whom Dave loved like his own.

“Personally, I am not sure I can put into words how I feel at this 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.”

King thanked fans for sending messages of support in the period since Myers was diagnosed. “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,” he said.

Myers’s wife, Liliana, paid tribute to her “wonderful, brave man”.

Dave Myers and Liliana Orzac, his wife
Dave Myers and Liliana Orzac, his wife

In the opening episode of The Hairy Bikers Go West, Myers said he feared that his illness would rob him of the chance to ride his beloved motorbikes.

“After my recent struggles, it looked like our adventures could be over,” he said.

“I first fell in love with two wheels when I was just knee-high to my dad’s Norton. But recently I’ve been on a difficult and very personal journey of my own, dealing with cancer.

“I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to get back in the saddle again. There was a time when I couldn’t balance, couldn’t walk, I didn’t think I’d be getting on a bike.”

But after much hard work with a physiotherapist, he was able to get back on the road. “It’s just joyous,” he said on the programme. “It’s a dream come true. I appreciate it so much. I’m drinking it in like a man who’s been in the desert.”

Myers, from Barrow-in-Furness, was a make-up artist for film and television before moving in front of the camera. He met King in the 1990s and the pair went on to become household names, presenting dozens of television shows and selling more than six million recipe books.

In 2013, he took part in Strictly Come Dancing, and said he “loved every minute”. His dance partner, Karen Hauer, said after hearing of his death: “Dave, you taught me to have fun and take on the day with a big smile. Rest well, my dear friend. I’m going to miss you so much.”

Dave Myers competed on Strictly Come Dancing with Karen Hauer in 2013
Dave Myers competed on Strictly Come Dancing with Karen Hauer in 2013 - Guy Levy/BBC/PA

Myers announced in May 2022 that he had been diagnosed with cancer but kept the details private. “I’ve never gone on about what sort of cancer it is because I feel that’s my business,” he explained.

The Hairy Bikers made a 2023 Christmas special in which they cooked for the doctors and nurses who had helped Myers through his treatment.

He said of that meal: “I sincerely appreciate every ounce of affection, every bite of food, and good friendship. Magic. It has been one of the best days of my life.”