The Hairy Bikers Go North sees bearded best mates Si King and Dave Myers, aka TV chefs the Hairy Bikers, back on home turf for a very personal BBC2 series.
After zooming across the globe on two wheels for almost 15 years, the down-to-earth duo are taking a nostalgic biking adventure, this time enjoying foodie delights of the northern counties of England, including their home counties of Cumbria and Tyne & Wear.
So here’s all we know and an exclusive chat with Si and Dave who reveal what to expect in their latest two-wheeled adventure The Hairy Bikers Go North…
The Hairy Bikers Go North air date
Rev your engines because the eight-part series The Hairy Bikers Go North begins on Thursday 23 September on BBC2 at 8pm, so there’s not long to wait. After every episode has aired you can catch up on BBCiPlayer.
Si and Dave on what made then want to come home for their new series The Hairy Bikers Go North?
“Actually filming in the UK wasn’t a reaction to Covid,” says Hairy Bikers legend Dave, 63, who grew up in Barrow-in-Furness but now divides his time between Kent and France. “We had a meeting with the BBC in December 2019, before Covid was invented as we like to say, and we decided that we thought we’d like to do a bit of a love letter to this country — and as we’re both from the north it seemed a natural place to start.”
“It’s a celebration of the things that have formed us both in culinary terms,” adds Si, 54, who still lives near Newcastle. “It was actually slightly retrospective and nostalgic visiting the communities and places that had influenced mine and Dave’s opinions about food over the years.”
The Hairy Bikers on where they begin their journey…
The first episode of The Hairy Bikers Go North sees the lads in Lancashire, where they learn how to make their own gin, meet a buffalo farmer creating a special Lancashire cheese, and try some award-winning local pies. Other episodes see them travel around Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Coast, Cumbria, Northumberland and the Peak District, finishing their tour in Tyne & Wear.
“This series is all about the food producers and their connection with local communities,” says Si. “You see our mushes on the telly all the time, but it’s the people that are important — their stories, their journeys, their produce.
“So for example in the first episode we went to Notarianni Ices in Blackpool. It’s a story of an Italian family came over during the war and became an intrinsic part of the community by producing this incredible ice cream. Those kind of stories shine through the whole series.”
“Also Dama Cheese in West Yorkshire was special,” adds Dave. “The couple who ran it had literally escaped the bombing in Syria and had formed a cheese factory basically making a halloumi they call Yorkshire Squeaky Cheese. Hearing their story was absolutely mindblowing. I have a lot of respect for them.”
The Hairy Bikers on their series highlights…
“Going back to my home town of Barrow was a highlight,” says Dave. “We went to Peace and Loaf, this bakery where they made wonderful sourdough bread, some of the best I’ve ever tasted. It was just in a car park and had been crowd funded by the locals, my tribe as it were. I’ve been away for years, but I felt so proud.”
“It’s remarkable how you can overlook what’s right under your noses. That was one of the great discoveries,” adds Si. ‘So we went down to the Fish Quay in North Shields to see a mate of ours, Tony, who runs Collingwood Seafood and he’s a great character, so that was great fun. There’s also a place called the Block & Bottle in Newcastle that do fantastic meat. Dave and I bought some rib eyes and sirloins from there that were particularly special!
“‘On a daily basis Dave and I were like, ‘well I never knew that!’ It was lovely. The whole of the country is part of a sort of a culinary renaissance – we really care about what we eat and there are some remarkable small food producers out there.’”
The Hairy Bikers on being back on their bikes after the last year in lockdown…
“By God we were both so lucky during lockdown really,” says Dave. “We’ve both got outside space, dogs and I’ve got a partner, so we were better off than most. I think it was the second lockdown over the winter that everybody found hard. It’s made me think how we’ve all got to be a bit kinder to each other really.
“So, yes, it was good getting back together again after lockdown. Covid restrictions during filming meant we had to bubble in the same house, which was also an opportunity to show a bit more of ourselves. It was nice because we didn’t do the cooking to camera thing, it’s more just two mates making food. It’s a bit of a landmark for us really.
“The filming schedule also allowed us to have the time and space to talk to each other about our lives and what we remember growing up, and that was really lovely,’ adds Si. ‘It was quite nostalgic!”
Is there a trailer for The Hairy Bikers Go North?
Yes. The BBC have released a 20 second trailer for The Hairy Bikers Go North. Take a look right here.
Best BBC documentaries