The Hairy Bikers: three curry recipes and how they came to fame
Three fab curries from two of the top UK celebrity chefs, plus their story so far
The Hairy Bikers' background
Dave Myers (the darker haired one) was born in 1957. Simon King (the fairer one) was born ten years later. When they met, they had no background in cooking, but were both involved in television. Dave was a professional make-up artist from Barrow on Furness. His mum had MS and his father, who worked in a paper mill, had a stroke, so by the age of 17 he became their primary carer - doing much of the family cooking. He did a fine arts degree at Goldsmiths College in London, started working on make-up for the BBC and specialised in prosthetics - false noses and chins etc, while also running an antiques business in Aberdeenshire.
Simon was a location manager, who lived in Newcastle with his partner and their three children. His father had been in the merchant navy, but had died when Simon was eight. According to Simon, his father used to bring back a lot of interesting foods, which the family loved to experiment with.
David and Simon met up while working on a BBC production of a Catherine Cookson series. They found that they shared a love of bikes, good food, travel and cooking. So they approached BBC director John Stroud, and asked him to get them a series on television.
The Hairy Bikers' big break
This was probably the death of Jenifer Patterson in 1999. She was one of the Two Fat Ladies, who were phenomenally successful as celebrity chefs. She worked with Clarissa Dickson Wright. They would drive around on a motorbike, arriving at interesting places and cooking for interesting people. The BBC were clearly looking for a similar format in 2002 when they asked Dave and Simon to do a pilot programme, which was about food in Portugal and which was eventually broadcast in 2005.
They are both top UK celebrity cooks who have starred in several cookery programmes, most of which have been accompanied by cookbooks. These include The Hairy Bikers Cookbook, The Hairy Bikers Ride Again, The Hairy Bikers Mums Know Best, The Hairy Bakers and more recently, when they decided that all this rich food was making them ill, The Hairy Dieters. Their most recent book is on The Hairy Bikers' Great Curries. Their homelives have been relatively uneventful, the only real point of interest being that in 2011 Dave married a Romanian girlfriend who he met while filming on location.