The Hairy Bikers chat Northern bait ahead of show at Sunderland Empire

The Hairy Bikers are hitting the open road for a new nationwide tour which combines their love of food and banter.

By Katy Wheeler
Thursday, 28 March, 2019, 10:52
Si King and Dave Myers

It will see the charismatic duo of Si King and Dave Myers park up their bikes at Sunderland Empire for one night only on Thursday, April 4.

Explaining the concept of the night of cooking and conversation, Dave said: “It’s like having everyone round our house for a night in with some banter and a bit of a retrospect over our 20-year career, with some music and a few surprises. Food is the social glue which binds us all together so it works perfectly with a night of conversation.”

This is the third UK tour for the chefs, who rose to fame with their popular Hairy Bikers TV series, and they say it’s a great way to interact with fans.

“You’re in a bit of an isolated bubble with a TV show,” they explained. “You’re beamed into people’s living rooms and it’s up to them whether they want to tune in or not.

“It’s really important for us to go out on theatre tours and meet people, it’s a very different discipline to TV but we really enjoy it.

“But we’ve never been exclusive. We only cook what people can cook at home, we want to empower them in the kitchen.”

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Over the decades they’ve seen a shift in attitudes to food. “In the past 20 years the food scene has definitely changed,” they said. “There’s more knowledge about it now and people generally make more informed decisions about what they eat and the impact that cheap food has on the environment.

“I think social media and TV shows have also played a part in how people choose their food now. Back in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s it was more about fast food, then chefs like Keith Floyd came about and people started to wake up about food.”

For Si, who hails from County Durham, the North East dates of the tour are always special and it’s also a chance to get stuck into some bait from his home region.

“The North East has some excellent food,” he said. “You get great fish coming in from the day boats at Hendon and North Shields and we always try and get to Latimer’s Deli when we’re up there. Plus, we love coming to the Empire, it feels like a proper night at the theatre.”

•Tickets from 0844 871 3022.