Hairy Biker Dave Myers swapped his chef’s hat for a hard hat as he dropped into Doncaster to shoot a new television series.
The TV chef ditched risotto for restoration as he arrived at the Mansion House to record a new 15-part BBC series, The Hairy Builder, which focuses on major renovation projects at some of Britain’s oldest buildings.
Shoppers watched as the star - complete with waxed moustache - filmed scenes on the High Street in front of the building which is currently undergoing a series of major repairs which are due to be completed early next year.
He said: “It is wonderful to be here in Doncaster.
“This series is looking at some of the country’s most historic buildings and finding out the stories behind them.
“The Mansion House is a fantastic example of a building right in the middle of town with a great tale behind it.
“I studied history of art at post graduate level and it has always fascinated me. I love getting my hands dirty.”
That is just as well – as this history lover turned make up artist turned celebrity chef will be working as apprentice to William Anelay’s as they quite literally peel back the layers – floors, ceilings, walls, windows and doors – of some of our most important stately homes, cathedrals and listed buildings, in a quest to investigate the dramas and secrets hidden inside their architectural DNA.
“We will be looking at the history of these amazing buildings and at the skilled craftsmanship of some of these guys,” said Dave.
“William Anelay is working on 32 conservation projects around the country and we are taking a look at them.”
The conservation projects will all be at different stages of work, but whatever the stage, Dave will learn skills with the builders on site and consult with local experts to find stories that even the professional tour guides don’t know about.
While the conservation work takes place, he will investigate the myriad stories connected to these amazing buildings – the landscape and local geography, the people who built, lived and worked in them and what they did.
He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn some new hands-on skills and unravel the mysteries of some of the greatest buildings in the country’s heritage. I am very excited and proud to be part of it.”
As well as the Mansion House, he has also been filming at Pontefract Castle, Bradford Civic Hall and Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire.
He has gone solo to record this series without TV partner Si King and during his visit to the Mansion House, learned traditional roof slating skills from builders employed by Anelay, the York-based company who helped build the Mansion House originally.
He said: “I did Strictly, which was the first thing I had done on my own, but I think it does us both good.
“Si has his own solo projects in the pipeline and we are doing another series of Hairy Bikers next year.”
William Anelay chairman Charles Anelay said: “It is amazing to be involved in a restoration project knowing members of the family were involved in doing some of this fantastic work hundreds of years ago.”
The series is expected to air in the New Year.