'We Had to Lose Weight or We'd Be Dead' TV Cooks Si King, 49, and Dave Myers, 59, on Loving Ironing and Soft Being Best Buddies, Moment They Realised They Had to Cut the T Furnishings, Dies, and the Ealised Fat or Die

The People (London, England), February 19, 2017 | Go to article overview

'We Had to Lose Weight or We'd Be Dead' TV Cooks Si King, 49, and Dave Myers, 59, on Loving Ironing and Soft Being Best Buddies, Moment They Realised They Had to Cut the T Furnishings, Dies, and the Ealised Fat or Die


Byline: Dave Myers

We hear the Hairy Bikers before we see them. The clomp-clomp of sturdy boots on the rickety staircase of the photo studio announces their arrival. Then it's like the room shrinks - not only are Si King, 49, and Dave Myers, 59, big bears of men, but their personalities make them larger than life. After a mini kerfuffle as they both attempt to take the same spot on the couch, the pair plonk themselves down and we're relieved to see they're exactly as they seem on TV - just down-to-earth, just as funny...

In fact, the latter makes them the perfect guys to model this year's Comic Relief merchandise, including an apron designed by photographer Rankin. And the apron, it seems, is fitting in more ways than one. Not only are Si and Dave capable of cooking up a casual feast or two, they're also keen to tell us that they're a pair of domestic gods.

'We're both pretty handy with a hoover, we keep tidy houses,' says Dave. 'A few years ago, I came off my bike and broke my arms. Si picked me up from the hospital and asked what he could do to help. I said, "What am I going to do about the ironing?" because even though I look like a bucket of rags a lot of the time, I do like everything neat. God love him, I don't think he'd ironed a shirt in his life and...'

'He's very particular about how he folds his shirts, you see, and he kept telling me off!' interjects Si. 'But then he teases me about my scented candles and my penchant for soft furnishings - I've got so many bloody cushions, there's nowhere to sit!'

On first impressions, they aren't the kind of blokes you'd imagine obsessing over the folding of shirts, or plumping up co-ordinated scatter cushions. Hairy, yes; bikers, yes; but they also have something of the old English gent about them. Dave is wild and slightly scruffy, as if he's just blown in from a motorbike ride around some windy Highland road - except for his twiddled moustache, which lends t Edwar K him the air of an eccentric Edwardian. Meanwhile, Si - or Kingy, as Dave calls him - has his silver hair tied back in a ponytail, his beard neatly trimmed, and his tweed waistcoat in place. They have an endearing way of glancing at each other for confirmation before they speak. Although Si's the quieter of the two, Dave is careful never to speak over his old friend, regularly 'We trailing off mid-sentence in order to coax out Si's opinion.

'Dave shaved his beard off once,' Si says suddenly, leaning forwards with a conspiratorial shake of his head. 'I just couldn't stop staring at him and thinking, "Who are you?" It was just a big dumpling face.' like Whips!

These days Dave and Si are looking distinctly less dumpling-like. It's been a few years since they lost 6 stone between them, but unlike so many celebs with diet books, they've kept it off. Dave once tipped the scales at 18 stone, while Si weighed in at a bulky 19.5 stone.

'We were filming in America and I noticed we were casting shadows like Walnut Whips! The sensible thing to do was go on a diet, so we started rewriting recipes and we're better cooks because of it,' Dave says.

Nowadays the scales hover around the 15 stone mark, and the lads are off their statins and blood pressure medication. The Bikers became famous as a pair of food-loving fellas, so turning themselves into healthy-eating gurus was risky - would the public still watch their shows if they weren't travelling the world and ordering extra mains 'for the table' at every pit stop along the way?

'One of our catchphrases was "a big knob of butter" and we knew we had to rein it in,' says Dave, slinging an arm casually over the side of the sofa. 'We were morbidly obese. If we'd continued to pile it on in the way we'd been doing, we wouldn't have had a career anyway - you can't if you're dead!'

'We knew we were never gonna be Twiggy,' adds Si. 'We're fighting middle-aged spread, and a lot of people are in the same boat. …

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