Dave Myers's wife misses TV chef 'terribly'

Lili and Dave Myers
Lili and Dave Myers were together for nearly 20 years [Family handout]

Dave Myers's widow has said she misses the Hairy Bikers star "terribly" following his death from cancer at the age of 66.

Lili Myers spoke to BBC Radio Cumbria ahead of Dave Day on 8 June when thousands of bikers will travel from London to Myers's home town of Barrow, raising money for charity.

She said it would be an opportunity for her to celebrate the celebrity chef's life "with a nation".

"He always said, 'let's make the most of today, we don't know what will come tomorrow'," Mrs Myers said.

It has been more than two months since the death of Myers, who was one half of the Hairy Bikers TV cookery show duo along with Si King.

"He was the same person on and off screen," Mrs Myers said. "Larger than life. I miss him terribly now. I miss that energy."

'Beautiful soul'

Mrs Myers said her husband had wooed her with a sandwich.

They had first met when Myers and King were filming part of their first series, 2006's The Hairy Bikers' Cookbook, in Romania.

Their Romanian producer had "let them down", so she took over, helping set up locations and interpreting.

"And that's how we started, just like that," she said.

They kept in touch for a couple of years by email, as the Hairy Bikers took Myers to places like India, Turkey, Mexico and Argentina.

"I got these beautiful emails from exotic parts of the world, talking to me about the culture, about the food, about the people that he met and that was magical for me," she said.

"It was seeing the world through his eyes. He was a genuinely beautiful man, beautiful soul, and it came across in his emails."

When they met again in person, at his home in Barrow, he cooked her a meal.

"He put all his soul into that sandwich," she laughed.

They were married in Barrow in 2011.

Hairy Bikers Asian Adventure
Si King and Dave Myers met on their motorcycle trips around the UK, before making the Hairy Bikers TV shows [BBC]

Myers and King's dynamic on and off screen was "amazing", Mrs Myers said, adding: "They completed each other, they even completed each other's sentences because they knew each other so well."

While best known for his cookery shows alongside King, Myers also appeared in the 2013 series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Mrs Myers said she had been in the studio for every episode, calling it a "fantastic" experience.

"Oh my god, that man could not dance, but he was dancing," she laughed.

She revealed Myers had gout, a form of painful inflammatory arthritis, when he was filming for the dancing competition.

"He made the most of every moment, and that's what I have learned from him," she said.

Dave and Karen in dancing during Strictly Come Dancing
Dave Myers competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 [BBC]

Mrs Myers said it had been difficult to hear of her husband's cancer diagnosis, but they had "made the most of every day".

"It wasn't an easy period of time," she said. "I've watched this man die for a couple of years, every day, little by little."

She said she had been "in awe" when he had found the strength to film more episodes of the Hairy Bikers in between chemotherapy sessions.

Recalling how she had driven him to wherever he was filming and then back to the hospital for treatment, she said she had encouraged him to keep shooting the series because "it was his life".

She said she had not watched the last episode of the Hairy Bikers, because it had been aired on a day when she was celebrating Myers with friends and family.

"I want to remember the man as he is," she said.

Dave Day

Now Mrs Myers is looking forward to Dave Day, which she started setting up after friends and family asked if there would be a bike ride in his memory.

The event will raise money for The Institute of Cancer Research, London and NSPCC Childline, with thousands of bikers expected to take part.

"I never thought it would be this big and it's just a testament to how Dave has touched so many lives," she said.

Barrow residents have offered to take in Dave Day bikers after many were left unable to find somewhere to stay for the night, with Mrs Myers saying the accommodation situation had "surprised her completely".

"I wanted to give Barrow something in return for the friendship and the kindness I felt, that we felt, when we lived there. And by god, I have so much in return," she said.

Dave Myers and his wife Lillian arriving at the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards,
Mrs Myers said Dave Day would "honour his memory" [PA Media]

Mrs Myers has also apologised to people who will be travelling on the M6 during Dave Day, predicting it will be "very busy".

"It feels like I am not mourning on my own," she said. "Mourning is not the right word... celebrating, I'm celebrating with a nation."

Her husband would have loved the event, Mrs Myers said, adding: "I think he's watching from wherever he is. Watching and laughing."

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