Featured images: Neil Ferry
Interview: Si King, Broadcaster and author, 'The Hairy Bikers'
Ahead of Groovetrain at Christmas coming to The Exchange 1856 this November 23rd, we sat down with Si King, broadcaster and author of 'The Hairy Bikers', to hear all about his support for this charity event.
What are you up to at the moment? Tell us about recent projects you've been working on?
Wow, it’s been a really full-on year. I’m so grateful to be back in the saddle with Dave after his illness and to be working together again. It’s not the same without my best mate by my side. We have recorded a new series: ‘The Hairy Bikers Go West’ with filming up in Scotland where we met some incredible people with wonderful stories -and food - to share, and we’ve also put together a lovely Christmas special which will be announced in your festive telly schedules soon!
We’ve also got our new book out: ‘Ultimate Comfort Food’ which has over 100 recipes we’ve curated - from the food people grew up with to the meals they share today with their families: everything from clam chowder to a stem ginger and lemon drizzle cake.
And in-between all that, I’ve loved playing music and being on stage with various musician friends this year - including with all the guys in groovetrain.
Why did you want to support this particular charity event? What will you be doing at the event?
I’m a North East lad and a lot of the music projects I’m involved with are about community and connection and reaching out with a helping hand whenever we can. Just with groovetrain alone this year we’ve been proud to support a number of charities working with young people in the region and so it’s great to be working with Cash for Kids again - and with the guys at YMCA - to do our bit for an event that will raise vital funds to support their Mission Christmas appeal to bring just a little bit of joy to the lives of so many kids in the North who are otherwise having a tough time.
On the night, I’ll be up on the stage with my friends in groovetrain, on the microphone and holding down the rhythms on percussion, for a full set of live music that will get everyone moving!
Were you familiar with The Exchange before? What do you think of the renovations? Why do you think venues like The Exchange are important for the local community?
Unfortunately not, although I’ve noticed the building before when we’ve been in the Town filming or en-route to the Fish Quay. A building like this - and arts and culture more generally - is so important for any community or town but especially for us Northerners who have that appetite for creativity and connectedness.
I’m looking forward to seeing the venue for myself having heard wonderful things about its rebirth.