The boys are back on the road doing what they love most - biking and cooking! In this brand new six part series, Dave Myers and Si King set off on a proper road-trip, their most ambitious and personal journey yet. This time they're heading North, circumnavigating the vast Baltic Sea in search of the most exciting food and some of the wildest places in Europe. It’s a challenge they have long dreamt of undertaking - and all the more poignant as it marks Si’s return to rude health following his brain aneurism last year.
The Hairy Bikers' Northern Exposure
BBC Two, Air date: September 2015
The boys are back on the road doing what they love most - biking and cooking! In this brand new six part series, Dave Myers and Si King set off on a proper road-trip, their most ambitious and personal journey yet.
- Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia
- North Sweden
- South Sweden
The brackish Baltic Sea is surrounded by nine countries which are home to more than 85m people. The Hairies' travels take them through this magical region, from Poland to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, from Russia (St Petersburg) to Finland and from Northern Sweden (Sami country) to Southern, in their search for hearty home cooking and cutting-edge cuisine, vast forests and sparkling lakes, windswept beaches and flower-strewn meadows, incredible biking roads and - hopefully - a warm welcome. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it!
Si and Dave revel in the little-known wonders of these fascinating but largely untapped countries whose fates have, for millennia, been linked by the Baltic Sea: “We are closer to the Baltic than many of our Mediterranean neighbours, yet we know very little about them. Poles are the third biggest population in Britain; Estonia is more than the Eurovision song contest, Finland more than Lapland and midnight sun and Sweden is so much more than Ikea and Volvos. We loved the idea of the Baltic Sea as it is a wonderful, linear road trip taking in Russia too.”
An old lady in Poland makes traditional sausages which blow their socks off. They visit the home of Copernicus then cook a gingerbread orrery. The Gdansk shipyards in Treblinka hold a particular fascination as Si and Dave both come from shipbuilding communities.
On to the Baltic States: Lithuania where they make a pilgrimage to the Hill of Crosses, a symbol of resistance for more than two centuries, bristling with crosses and twice bulldozed by the KGB. In Riga in Latvia they revel in the biggest indoor market in the world, constructed from five former Zeppelin sheds, full of the most extraordinary produce from salted cucumber to smoked eel, pot plants to honey, and ride with the Brothers of the Wind, Latvia’s oldest biking gang. In Estonia they go foraging, fish for sea kale and dance with grannies who produce the best school dinners in Europe.
Unable to enter Russia with their motorbikes, Dave resorts to borrowing a post war Ural, the very first bike he ever owned, complete with sidecar and a habit of breaking down. The Hairy Bikers meet flamboyant fashion designers and ruthless oligarchs, experience the back-stage buzz of a night at the ballet, visit the Faberge museum and enjoy the world’s rarest caviar washed down with fine vodka. In Finland they learn the techniques of wife-carrying - a national past-time, fulfill their boyhood fantasies of riding tanks through the woods and meet a Lutheran priest who conducts heavy metal mass.
And finally to Sweden, the furthest north the boys have ever been. They are helicoptered in to join a Sami community beyond the Arctic Circle to find the source of the Northern Wave and taste Arctic Char in Lapland. In Southern Sweden the boys pickle fish with a feisty and rare fisherwoman and meet a former gang-leader and boxer who found redemption through food. And they are in for a real surprise; Si and Dave both reckon they have Viking blood – a DNA test will reveal if they do.
There's so much more besides. This show will be their biggest and most personal adventure to date.