The Hairy Bikers: Dave Myers and Si King's enduring friendship through health battles

The motorbike-loving TV chefs carried each other through life's ups and downs.

The Hairy Bikers Si King and Dave Myers are going west for a new show. (BBC)
The Hairy Bikers Si King and Dave Myers are best of friends. (BBC)

The Hairy Bikers never failed to bring a warm, fuzzy feeling to viewers with their perfect recipe of comfort food, adventure and true friendship.

Both Dave Myers and Si King faced some tough moments with health battles to contend with, but they credited each other with unwavering support.

It was King who announced the heartbreaking news that his best friend and co-star Myers had died on 28 February, 2024 after undergoing treatment for cancer, and he shared that he was by Myers' side when he passed away.

We take a look back over their enduring friendship.

Read more: How The Hairy Bikers became TV cooking stars

Si King's tribute to Dave Myers

The Hairy Bikers stars Dave Myers and Si King were the best of friends. (BBC)
The Hairy Bikers stars Dave Myers and Si King filmed one final series together that is airing on TV now. (BBC)

King had the heartbreaking task of announcing his friend's death from cancer, after he passed away on 28 February, 2024.

He shared some favourite photos of Myers to Instagram and wrote: "Hi everyone, 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 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.

"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 x"

How The Hairy Bikers met

Simon 'Si' King and David Myers (Right), The Hairy Bikers, arrive at the TV Choice Awards 2012 at the Dorchester hotel in London. (Ian West/PA Archive/PA Images)
Si King and Dave Myers found an instant connection. (PA Images)

Dave Myers and Si King had been best mates for 30 years – predating their TV fame as The Hairy Bikers.

Before they became known for their travel and cooking shows, the pair were working in very different roles in the TV industry with King on the production side while Myers took care of hair and make-up.

They first met while on location for a Catherine Cookson TV adaptation, where they instantly realised what they had in common.

King told The Independent: "At lunch, most of the crew were ordering salads and mineral water at the local pub, while I was having a curry and two pints of lager.

"When Dave came in he took one look at my lunch and went, 'I'll have what he's having!' Pretty quickly we discovered that we both loved eating, drinking and motorcycling."

'We're brothers'

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 11: The Hairy Bikers attends the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards 2023 at The Royal Exchange on May 11, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images for Fortnum & Mason)
The Hairy Bikers said they were like brothers. (Getty Images for Fortnum & Mason)

Fans of The Hairy Bikers will be pleased to know that their close camaraderie wasn't just an act for the camera.

In an interview about their friendship, King told The Guardian: "We are like a cog and a wheel."

They admitted that fans often muddled them up, and like another famous northern TV duo Ant and Dec, they always made sure to stand in the same formation.

Myers explained he always stood on King's left as during their first TV show 20 years ago they had decided to stand in the same order for continuity.

He said they even walked down the road in that order, adding: "It’s got to the point where it feels uncomfortable the other way round."

King said: "We’re brothers to each other, really. It transcends friendship."

Aneurysm and weight loss

Durham, UK - 20 Nov 2020: Si King and David Myers Hairy Dieters celebrity cook book by the Hairy Bikers. Celeb chefs teach how to cook real food but s
The friends lost weight together - and encouraged their fans to do the same. (PA/Alamy)

In 2012, the pair famously lost weight together and even published a dieters' cookbook where they put healthy spins on some of their favourite dishes.

But the benefits were not just cosmetic as when King suffered a traumatic brain aneurysm in 2014, he said that getting fit with his best mate had done a huge amount to help his recovery.

King told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle: "In aneurysms high blood pressure is an issue so if I hadn’t lost all that weight with Dave in 2012, I ­probably wouldn’t have survived.

"Back then we started losing weight because a doctor friend said: 'Look lads, you are middle-aged now and morbidly obese. You need to do something about it.'

"That was a wake-up call for us."

Dave Myers' cancer diagnosis

London, UK. 28th June, 2018. The Hairy Bikers amongst the judges of the dazzling Concours d’éléphant, a fleet of customised vehicles, at the Royal Hospital Chelsea - Credit: amanda rose/Alamy Live News
Si King spoke of his devastation at Dave Myers' diagnosis. (Alamy Live News)

The Hairy Bikers run a popular podcast, Agony Uncles, but in a poignant episode in 2022 they revealed that Myers had cancer and would be taking some time out.

In an interview with The Times, King recalled his devastation at hearing his friend's news: "I was driving. I had to pull over.

"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."

He added: "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."

Si King nurses Dave Myers through treatment

Si King and Dave Myers on The Hairy Bikers' Asian Adventure. (BBC)
The pair supported each other through life's ups and downs. (BBC)

In a November 2023 episode of BBC Breakfast, Myers told a touching story of King nursing him through cancer treatment by making his favourite comfort food.

He said: "There was one day when I was poorly and he came round to our house and made me mince and dumplings, but he does it properly.

"You know, when the bottom of the dumplings are just soft, the top of the dumplings are crusty, and I really… I remember that with mashed potato. That was lovely. There was a freezer full and that was great."

King added of their long friendship: "It just comes naturally to us. We’re good mates, we’re part of each other’s families.

"It’s just the way we are and we don’t really have to try very hard, because we like each other.

"We’re very different people but that’s what friendship is about because constantly you bring something new to the table when we see each other."