Dave Myers‘ love affair with cooking began not on TV or in the kitchens of top restaurants, but at home.

It was there that the 11-year-old future Hairy Biker began making meals for his family after his mother fell ill with multiple sclerosis. 

Myers, who has died aged 66 after a battle with cancer, honed his culinary skills amidst the heartbreak of Margaret’s decline. 

He previously told the Mail how he concocted ‘complicated salads with all kinds of ingredients’, whilst other dishes were made with a little too much garlic. 

At the age of 17, Myers was hit by a second tragedy when his father was struck down by a debilitating stroke.

After struggling with the task of caring for them both, the presenter was forced to send his mother into hospital, and she never returned. 

Dave Myers aged eight with his mother Margaret, who suffered from multiple sclerosis

Dave Myers aged eight with his mother Margaret, who suffered from multiple sclerosis

David 'Dave' Myers became beloved as one half of the motorcycle-riding cooking duo, The Hairy Bikers , with fellow chef Simon 'Si' King

David ‘Dave’ Myers became beloved as one half of the motorcycle-riding cooking duo, The Hairy Bikers , with fellow chef Simon ‘Si’ King

Myers began his media career as a make-up artist at the BBC, before he met fellow chef Simon ‘Si’ King, who sold him what he called the ‘worst motorbike you have ever seen.’

Their first show, The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook, was launched on the BBC in 2006 and saw them ride across countries including Portugal, Romania and Namibia, tasting the local cuisine and experimenting with making it themselves.

King said he ‘will miss him every day and the bond and friendship we shared over half a lifetime’ as he announced Myers’ death on social media.

‘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,’ he added in a statement to X, formerly Twitter.

He also thanked well-wishers for sending messages of support to Myers, saying: ‘It meant the world to him, his family and all The Hairy Bikers team’.

Following his diagnosis, Myers briefly took a break from work before filming his last show with King, which sees them travel west across Britain from Scotland to Devon.

King previously said that the series, The Hairy Bikers Go West, which is airing on BBC Two, would be one they would ‘always remember’.

‘We are very privileged to do what we do and I think this one was particularly special in general because of Dave’s health and his sheer and utter determination and love for what he does’, he added.

‘Especially to continue to do it while he was having treatment took remarkable courage and energy – and adds to why Dave and I will not forget it.’

Myers competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 alongside professional dancer Karen Hauer

Myers competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 alongside professional dancer Karen Hauer

Myers was married to Liliana Orzac, whom he met while filming Hairy Bikers in Romania

Myers was married to Liliana Orzac, whom he met while filming Hairy Bikers in Romania

The 57-year-old presenter said the travelogue was ‘a celebration of a joyous and creative friendship’ and he was happy they returned to his co-presenter’s original home of Lancashire during the series.

Born in Barrow-in-Furness, Myers’ wide variety of skills helped him enjoy many different experiences during his life.

As a student he worked in a steelworks to help finance his studies in fine arts.

He later joined the BBC as a make-up artist, specialising in prosthetics.

In 1995, Myers met his long-time co-presenter King on the set of a TV drama, and they went on to build a friendship and successful career together.

Their combination of riding their motorcycles to locations across the world and cooking up a storm as they went earned them a loyal following.

The pair also won over viewers with their cheeky northern humour and enthusiasm.

After their first show, the bearded duo went on to film many other series and specials for the BBC, seeking out new dishes in countries such as India, Vietnam, Argentina and Mexico.

They also sampled cuisines of places nearer to home, such as Ireland and the Isle of Man.

Dave as a baby with his mother Margaret. He taught himself how to cook after she fell ill

Dave as a baby with his mother Margaret. He taught himself how to cook after she fell ill

Myers' and King's combination of riding their motorcycles to locations across the world and cooking up a storm as they went earned them a loyal following. Above: The pair on The Hairy Bikers Ride Again

Myers’ and King’s combination of riding their motorcycles to locations across the world and cooking up a storm as they went earned them a loyal following. Above: The pair on The Hairy Bikers Ride Again

Myers and King on their first show, the Hairy Bikers' Cookbook, which aired in 2006

Myers and King on their first show, the Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook, which aired in 2006

King and Myers on The Hairy Bikers' Cookbook, their first show together

King and Myers on The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook, their first show together

Dave Myers and Simon King on The Hairy Bikers Go West, which is airing on BBC Two

Dave Myers and Simon King on The Hairy Bikers Go West, which is airing on BBC Two

Across their career they published more than 30 cookbooks together.

Myers also competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 alongside professional dancer Karen Hauer.

After performing dances including the salsa, jive and paso doble, the pair were voted off the competition in week seven.

He also appeared as a guest on a host of shows including Sunday Brunch, Countdown, Would I Lie To You?, All Star Family Fortunes and The Weakest Link.

In November, King told BBC Breakfast that their more than 30-year friendship came ‘naturally’ to them as they were ‘good mates’ and ‘part each other’s families’.

Myers also recalled during the interview that King had cooked him his favourite comfort food of mince and dumplings while he was being treated for cancer.

At the time, the TV chef said he had been ‘really enjoying life’ as he had got back to riding his bike and filming with his ‘best mate’.

Myers had previously spoken about other health struggles, including discovering he had glaucoma – an eye condition that can lead to blindness.

In 2018, he revealed he had originally dismissed the condition as a bad hangover.

He had also opened up about losing weight through the years by cutting out carbs and alcohol in a bid to become healthier.

For a BBC Two series, A Cook Abroad, Myers had to travel to Egypt without King after he suffered a brain aneurysm in 2014, which his co-presenter later said he was only able to survive thanks to considerable weight loss.

Myers was married to Liliana Orzac, whom he met while filming Hairy Bikers in Romania, and was a stepfather to her two children, Iza and Sergiu, from a previous relationship.

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