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Saturday, 29 November 2014

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Barrow Hairy Biker enters classroom - as part of GCSE assessment

THE warm and lilting Barrovian tones of Hairy Biker Dave Myers and his Geordie pal Si King are being studied by teenagers as part of their GCSEs.

Analysing transcripts and footage from the Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook TV series is one of the options available to students for a controlled assessment in GCSE English language.

Pupils are encouraged to dissect the spoken language of the popular northern TV cooks. They discuss how the duo establish and sustain a rapport with an audience, how they create impact and use timing.

The Hairy Bikers transcript includes a jovial exchange between Dave and Si as they make a crayfish dish.

The OCR exam board says students may just study the Hairy Bikers, compare them to other TV chefs, or focus instead on speeches of US President Barack Obama and others.

Speaking about being a GCSE English topic, Dave said: “We’re very flattered really. It’s wonderful, we’re quite flattered and it does make me chuffed.

“I think it means that we’re established in the psyche – a lot of kids do seem to like the books and it encourages them to cook.”

The celebrity cook and star of the most recent series of Strictly Come Dancing achieved a grade A in O-Level English.

He said: “I was at Barrow Grammar and there was some tremendous teachers who helped bring English alive.”

Dave said he has always been an avid reader and it is a habit he continues to this day. He said: “I feel bereft if I don’t have a book on the go.

“At the moment I’m reading The Redbreast by a Scandinavian author called Jo Nesbo.”

An OCR spokesman said: “Students taking GCSE English Language with OCR can indeed choose to write an essay on the Hairy Bikers’ cookery shows. OCR prides itself on giving teachers a rich choice of topics which will engage and interest their students, and this includes the chance to write about the way food and cookery is presented on TV shows.

“The Hairy Bikers were chosen because their unique style and use of the English language provide a perfect recipe for a study of the spoken word.”

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