HAIRY Bikers Dave Myers and Si King have established themselves as one of the most popular double acts on TV.
Their popular Bakeation series has seen the intrepid pair travel 5,000 miles across Europe, meeting artisan bakers and cooking up gastronomic delights.
They have recently returned from filming a new Sky Food Channel series in America, Mississippi Adventure, and are currently working on two more TV projects before kicking off a stage tour, which stops nearby at the Futurist Theatre in Scarborough, later in the year.
No stranger to Whitby, Dave Myers took time out from his hectic schedule to chat to sports editor Duncan Atkins ...
1. What are your first memories of Whitby?
The harbour when the fishing boats are landing, and going to the Magpie for fish and chips. At the time, the Magpie stuck out in my head - the fish platter with chips, peas, bread and butter.
2. What would be your ideal day in Whitby?
Get up late, go to the Magpie for lunch and have a tootle around, walking round the streets shopping and going from one pub to another, having some nourishment on the way.
3. What makes Whitby special to you?
It’s the way you have got that hike across the moors. The moors are so desolate and it seems to be a long way to Whitby, but when you get there, it’s worth it. Whitby lives up to expectations, it’s very nicely self-contained. Robin Hood’s Bay is beautiful as well.
4. Who would you rather be - Dracula or Captain Cook?
Dracula - I suspect he has more fun. Being Dracula would be more glamorous.
5. Bram Stoker, Lewis Carroll, and many others drew inspiration from here - what inspires you?
It’s a nice place to go for a day and have a walk and it’s a proper self-contained place to visit with fantastic pubs and a proper day out.
6. William Scoresby, Arctic explorer, was from Whitby and he invented the crow’s nest - what would you invent?
If you could somehow have fish farms that work really well because we have this vast amount of ocean. If you could farm fish like we farm land but on a huge sustainable scale, we’d have no problems with starvation.
7. Captain Cook is a hero to many in Whitby, who is your personal hero?
Yuri Gagarin. He was the first man in space and it takes a lot of balls to lie flat on your back with someone lighting you. I must have been about three years old and I was just about old enough to realise how mega it was.
8. Cook apprenticed here in Whitby - what was your first job?
Working as a flue cleaner in the steelworks in Barrow-in-Furness, where I live. They shut the furnaces down to have them rebuilt. There was a tunnel from the furnace to a chimney that needed cleaning, and I went underground digging it out. The hotter it gets the closer you get to the furnace but it was good money.
9. He approached life as an explorer, always looking forward. What has been your motto for life?
‘Give it a go’ - if you have an idea and it doesn’t hurt anybody. Hairy Bikers was the best thing we ever did and it started from a conservation in the pub.
10. If you were stuck on a desert island, which four people would you want to be stuck with?
Kingy (fellow Hairy Biker Si King) because he has been a constant source of amusement for the past 25 years, Penelope Cruz for all my carnal desires, Audrey Hepburn, and Bear Grylls who would do all the work.
11. Whitby is famous for its fish and chips - where do you think is the best?
The Magpie - a lot of people have said ‘don’t just stick there because people have their favourite and I would relish the opportunity to try the others.
12. We’ve also got a long history of taverns - what is your favourite watering hole?
The Middle Earth Tavern. I fell down the cellar steps there on the way to the toilet. I had a thoroughly good night there - it was that good a night, I thought it was called The Hobbit.
13. Dracula has a few bad habits - what is your worst habit?
Worrying! I worry about the little things but the big stuff I’m fine with.
14. When was the last time you cried?
When I suffered a bereavement.
15. Dracula is a famous book based in Whitby - what is your favourite book?
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.
16. It’s also been made into thousands of films - what is your favourite film?
Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Audrey Hepburn.
17. No day by the seaside is complete without an ice cream - what flavour would you invent?
My mate invented it, he has an ice cream van in Cumbria - it ‘s blackcurrant and licorice. He does apple crumble ice cream as well. I’d have a scoop of one and a scoop of the other.
18. Whitby is still a prime holiday destination - where was your last holiday?
On a cruise around the Mediterranean with Si, on the Queen Victoria. I enjoyed every minute of it.
19. What do you hope to achieve in the future?
I hope to be able to carry on doing the Hairy Bikers to a ripe old age. I’m sure there are a lot more adventures for us both to have.
20. What would be your epitaph?
‘Can we have starters?’
Read our review of the Hairy Bikers’ live show at the Futurist Theatre in Friday 26 October’s Whitby Gazette.