Hairy Bikers rev up for live shows; interview.
HAIRY ... it's not a word I like to think about when I ponder my favourite foods.
But the Hairy Bikers have certainly made it work for them, with a huge following for their friendly, accessible TV shows.
Simon King and David Myers are the stars of BBC2's smash hit programmes, The Hairy Bikers series and The Hairy Bakers, which was watched by more than 4m viewers.
And now the bikers and sometime bakers are revving up for a series of live appearances in Merseyside.
"We're looking forward to letting people smell and taste the food, as well as looking at it," says Simon King.
"We love doing the TV show, but this is us, the Hairy Bikers, up close and personal," adds David Myers.
But, as they explain, it's about far more than just the food.
It looks at their adventures and their personal experiences, right from the very start of their lives and up to their current success.
As well as getting the chance to view their never before seen TV screen test for The Hairy Bikers show, the audience will also be able to experience the boys' flair for comedy as their tales are entwined with wit and timing more accustomed to that of a stand-up comedy routine.
"It's not just a cookery demonstration," says Simon.
"There's comedy in there too, a bit of everything. We've worked with Bob Mortimer on it, so there's certainly an element of the surreal in there."
This debut tour will be covering over 45 dates around the UK.
Audience members will have plenty of chances to participate in the evening's entertainment and, of course, will get the opportunity to see the culinary masters at work as they prepare a three-course meal in 15 minutes: "We're hoping to get people up to have a taste," says Simon.
"It's one thing looking at how a recipe works out, it's quite another eating it.
"And there's a lot more to the show than just the food."
While cooking is their first love, both the boys have had success out of the kitchen. Dave won BBC's Celebrity Mastermind, and Simon took an admirable second place in BBC2's The Weakest Link.
Both Myers and King have a background in TV and film production.
Myers is a professional make-up artist, specialising in prosthetics, while King has served as locations manager on numerous productions, including the Harry Potter movies and Byker Grove.
They're doing two shows in the Mersey region - Warrington and St Helens - and they assure me both will be different.
"Oh, we don't do the same thing every night - far from it," laughs David.
"We've got no short-term memory, so we couldn't even if we wanted to," adds Simon.
"No, we'll be doing regional dishes, and asking for lots of inspiration from the audience.
"The north-west food scene is so strong, we couldn't help but be inspired.
"Plus, it's an area where people like a laugh, so we're expecting to have a ball. We can't wait."
THE Hairy Bikers play St Helens Theatre Royal on February 4, tickets pounds 17.50 -pounds 19.50 from 01744 756 000. They play Warrington Parr Hall on February 7, tickets pounds 17.50 - pounds 19.50 from 01925 442 345.
For details, see www.hairybikers.com
Simon King and David Myers will be bringing their live cooking show to Merseyside