An Interview with The Hairy Bikers
The Hairy Bikers or the Hairy Bakers? You decide…
They’re the lovably hirsute duo who became a surprise overnight sensation thanks to their down to earth devotion for all things ‘grub’.
But that could soon be coming to an end if rumours the Hairy Bikers are parting ways have any truth to them. Reports suggest the pair – who gained a cult following with their series Hairy Bikers Cookbook, Mum’s Knows Best and Food Tour of Britain – are soon to split. With one half, Si King, looking to move away from the spotlight to concentrate on his business enterprises. Thankfully, the foodies are quick to rubbish the claims.
“Why oh why would I want to break up the Bikers?” King fires back immediately. “I get to work with my best mate every day, travelling the world, sampling the best food you can find. And I get paid for it! Only a crazy person would walk away from such a sweet deal.”
“And to be fair,” partner in crime Dave Myers chips in, “any couple in the press has speculation about their relationship, and clearly we’re no different. Like Brad and Angelina, we are.”
“We had a big row over mayonnaise once”
The Bikers, who recently became Bakers for latest series Bakeation – a pastry-based odyssey across Europe – have seen their popularity swell in recent years, with companies clambering to sign them to lucrative sponsorship deals. Fortunately, the pair haven’t let their newfound celebrity status affect the way they go about their profession. Both are quick to knock the other down should one get a little big for his size elevens.
“We hardly have fans running after us down the street,” Myers laughs. “But the last couple of years have been very good to us and long may it continue. And I don’t think either of us will ever get above our station. I just couldn’t see that happening to be honest and, if it did, the other would sort that out.”
It seems the pair, who’ve known each other for nearly 20 years since meeting on the set of a Catherine Cookson TV adaptation, have the perfect relationship with little to disturb the perfect harmony.
“We had a big row over mayonnaise once,” Si chuckles. “I don’t think mayonnaise should be made with olive oil and he does. That’s really the biggest row we’ve had, which is probably a very good sign!
“Si does annoy the pants off me though,” Dave interjects. “He sucks his teeth a lot when he’s thinking, although he’s stopped doing that as much recently. But he used to always do it on the phone. I could just hear this sucking noise coming down from the other end. It gave me the creeps. Another one is when he lifts his pint of beer up and the beer mat is stuck to the bottom of the glass. That annoys the hell out of me!”
“Living the true spirit of an American road movie”
Away from pub politics, the Bikers have just signed on the dotted line for their new series Mississippi Adventure for UKTV food channel Good Food. The six-part series will see them explore the length of the Mississippi River in America’s Deep South in pursuit of the roots of soul food and Southern music.
“We are over-excited – to say the least – about our trip to Mississippi. The mix of music, food and motorcycles goes back to the very foundation of the Hairy Bikers,” Dave says. “The series promises to be a journey of discovery into the culture of an incredible place.”
Each episode will be themed in a different Southern music genre – jazz, blues, cajun, country and western, soul and rock ‘n’ roll – looking at the locations and food stories that have helped define them.
King explains: “We visit New Orleans for blues and Tamales, Memphis for a soul stew and fried chicken. Then Nashville for country and western, sampling pork, and Lafayette in Louisiana for cajun music and shrimp creole. Living the true spirit of an American road movie, we set out on Harley Davidsons to cover more than 3,000 miles of American tarmac. It feels good to be on the road again. Now that’s our kind of road trip.”