The reason Hairy Biker Dave Myers never revealed what cancer he had

When the late Hairy Bikers star Dave Myers announced his cancer diagnosis in May 2022, he refrained from naming what type.

TV chef Myers, from Barrow-in-Furness, found fame alongside his friend and work partner Si King 20 years ago and became known for travelling the world on their motorbikes and trying out foods from different regions. The pair became known for their TV show The Hairy Bikers and their cookery books inspired by their travels.

He later revealed he did not want to specify the type of cancer he had because he felt as though the public might start drawing conclusions about his health.

Myers told The Guardian in 2022 that he decided not to disclose what type of cancer he had “because everybody then goes Googling, everybody becomes an amateur doctor... And I don’t want to be judged – yet.”

King announced on Tuesday (29 February) that Myers had died aged 66.

The statement said: “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.

Myers pictured in 2017 (PA)
Myers pictured in 2017 (PA)

“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.

“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 and Myers: The Hairy Bikers (BBC/South Shore Productions/PA Wire)
King and Myers: The Hairy Bikers (BBC/South Shore Productions/PA Wire)

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.”

Myers pictured during filming of ‘Hairy Bikers Go West’ in 2023 (The Hairy Bikers Go West, BBC)
Myers pictured during filming of ‘Hairy Bikers Go West’ in 2023 (The Hairy Bikers Go West, BBC)

Myers later revealed that he lost his beard – and his iconic handlebar moustache – due to the side affects of chemotherapy.

”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 other 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.”