Dave Myers couldnt cope as he was forced to choose between caring for mum or dad

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The Hairy Bikers star Dave Myers became a carer when he was just eight years old after his mum was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and needed a wheelchair. Tragedy struck again for the cook when he was 17 as his dad suffered a debilitating stroke. Reflecting on caring for his parents, Dave admitted he “couldn’t cope” when he was forced to choose who to care for.

Dave, 64, is a television presenter and cook best known as one half of the Hairy Bikers, along with Si King.

The pair are often filmed travelling around the world on their motorbikes, having a laugh and rustling up mouthwatering recipes.

However, life has not always been smooth sailing for Dave as from the tender age of eight he became a carer for his mum, Margaret, after she was diagnosed with MS.

MS is a lifelong condition that affects the brain and nerves – it left Margaret needing a wheelchair.

Only child Dave assumed the roles of both carer, cleaner and chef, and the shock and stress caused him to lose his hair.

Talking in The Hairy Bikers Go North about becoming a child-carer, Dave explained: “Yes, life changed.

“Becoming a carer didn’t ruin my life – I still had lots of mates – but it certainly tied my childhood down.”

He added: “I couldn’t go to bed until Mum went to bed.

 “Dad would take Mum’s legs and I’d take her arms and we’d carry her up the stairs each night.”

His dad Jim, newly retired from his job at a paper mill at the time of Margaret’s illness, also became her full-time carer.

However, when Dave was 17, tragedy struck for a second time as his dad, then 72, suffered a debilitating stroke.

Talking about being a carer, Dave told Entertainment Daily: “I put Dad in his bed and put Mum in my bedroom, with a commode.

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“I had no idea what I was going to do.

“Fortunately, when the district nurse came round, she realised I couldn’t cope on my own.

“She sent another doctor, who asked, ‘Which parent do you think you can cope better with?’”

Dave made the heartbreaking decision to stay at home with his dad, who had a chance of recovering.

Margaret subsequently went to hospital, but sadly, she never went home again and died four years after being admitted.

When Dave was just 20 years old, Jim died following a second stroke.

Despite having a difficult childhood, Dave learned to master his culinary skills and went on to become a TV chef with Si King.

He also married Liliana Orzac, a fashion designer, in his home town of Barrow-in-Furness in 2011.

The Hairy Bikers Go North can now be viewed on BBC iPlayer.

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