'BARROW'S great ambassador,' as termed by the staff at his former primary school, had an unusual pathway to the top. 

Hairy Biker Dave Myers died aged 66 last week after his two-year battle with cancer.

One-half of the cooking and biking duo, he had been a mainstay on TV screens with Si King for 20 years. They earned their place in a long list of illustrious celebrity duos, including Ant and Dec, Morecambe and Wise and, of course, Ulverston's son Stan Laurel with his American partner Oliver Hardy.

It is easy to forget that Dave only found fame in his mid-40s but his friendship with Si dated years before their first show The Hairy Bikers' Cookbook released in 2004. 

Born in 1957, Dave grew up in Barrow and considered finding a permanent job in the town but he said on BBC Morning Live that his father told him: "If you get in that shipyard, I'll break your legs." 

He decided to pursue his dream of studying at art school and earned a fine art degree at Goldsmiths, University of London and a master's degree in art history. Dave then went into the production side of film and television, doing prosthetics, where he met Si. 

In November 2023, the pair said they had been friends for 32 years on BBC Breakfast 'way before the bikers started.' 

When asked what started their friendship, Dave replied 'it was a curry.' He added: "It was over a pool table in a pub in Newcastle. We were working together on a Catherine Cookson drama, we both worked as crew.

"I'd just got the job you [Si] had been there a while with the crew and I just got introduced to everybody, we went down for lunch and met and then he sold me a really bad motorbike."

In a 2022 episode of their podcast Hairy Bikers - Agony Uncles, they discussed what happened after their initial meeting. Si sold Dave a CBR750, and he said: "I gave you £1,000. I was well and truly ripped off and cupped by this young Geordie with a charming attitude.

"I went up to the highlands and anyway, it was a bag of nails, and I phoned him up and he had to admit that it wasn’t really as described and so I said, ‘well you can have your bike back, can I have my money back?”

However Si had already spent half of it, so he only gave Dave £500 back. Dave said that Si had given him 'more than money can describe' in 'many other ways' since then.

They were still acquaintances at this point. 

Dave continued: "The friendship actually seemed to spawn, well it was that week we started cooking.

“Being a Geordie, he didn’t just come up on his own in the van, he came up with four friends and stayed for a week. A week in which we partied and caroused and cooked. And that’s how the hairy bikers really started.”