Si King on friendship with Dave Myers: There is no Hairy Bikers without him

TV chef Si King has reflected on the future of his career in TV and said: “There is no Hairy Bikers without Dave (Myers).”

Myers, who was one half of the motorcycle-riding cooking duo with co-presenter King, died in February at the age of 66 after suffering from cancer.

In an interview with journalist and food critic Jay Rayner for The Observer, King said he has started to “think about what I want to do” following Myers’ death.

Si King and Dave Myers sitting on a bench next to a beach
Si King and Dave Myers in their BBC cooking programme, The Hairy Bikers Go West (BBC/South Shore Productions/PA)

Reflecting on his loss, he said: “There’s obviously the sense of losing your best mate.

“But there’s also a sense of loss in that the experiences we had together can’t go on.”

He continued: “What was wonderful about my mate Dave was that he absolutely embraced the moment.

“He used to drive me mad. I’d tell him to say something negative for a bit, but he just loved being a Hairy Biker.”

The duo met in 1995 on the set of a TV drama, and they went on to build a friendship and successful career together.

Dave Myers and his wife Liliana
Dave Myers and his wife Liliana (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Across their career they published more than 20 cookbooks together and presented shows including The Hairy Bikers Ride Again; The Hairy Bikers’ Food Tour Of Britain; The Hairy Bikers: Mums Know Best; and The Hairy Bikers’ Cook Off.

“It was the Observer who gave us our first serious piece of coverage,” King said.

“The Observer really launched the Hairy Bikers. And it will end with them, too.”

TV chef Myers announced he was undergoing chemotherapy in May 2022 but he did not specify what type of cancer he had.

Speaking about his diagnosis, King said: “Dave called me. I had to pull over. I just couldn’t compute it. I must have sounded terrible.

“There was just a level of disbelief. And to be perfectly honest I couldn’t get my head around it all the way through his fight.

“Is this really happening? My best mate?”

Speaking about his treatment, he said: “You have to go with the psyche of the patient. It was all about the fight right to the very last day.”

“We are two working-class lads and we like a scrap. When it became apparent this was going to be a long haul it was about making things as comfortable as possible for Dave, both physically and mentally.

“We had to be led by him. It’s about being kind.”

King said Myers received the “love and support of his wife”, Liliana Orzac, whom he met while filming in Romania.

Dave Myers smiling
Dave Myers died in February (Ian West/PA)

“The reality was he just didn’t want to go. It was too soon,” he said.

“He had a home he wanted to live in and we had a handle on our careers. He was looking forward to spending more time with his beloved Lili and his stepkids.

“He’d just arrived and no one wants to leave when they’ve just arrived. It wasn’t time to go. It’s a cruel disease.”

Reflecting on his future, King said: “It’s only in the past couple of weeks that I’ve started to think about what I want to do.

“I’ve spent all my life from very young thinking about what other people want and what their needs and aspirations are.

Two motorcyclists riding along a road with a picture of Dave Myers on the front of their bike
Motorcyclists ride from London to Barrow ahead of Dave Day to celebrate the life of Hairy Biker Dave Myers in his home town (Jacob King/PA)

“So to be presented at my age with the question of what you really want to do is very difficult. We were a partnership, a double act.”

He continued: “It would be incredibly churlish not to say thank you to our fanbase. I sincerely hope that whatever I do next they come with me and we start another journey together.”

“There is no Hairy Bikers without Dave. Because it’s plural,” he added.

Earlier in the month, thousands of motorcyclists travelled from London to Myers’ home town of Barrow-in-Furness as part of the first Dave Day, held in honour of Myers.

King and Myers’ widow appeared on a stage where they thanked those who had come out to pay tribute to Myers.