On the Road with the Hairy Bikers


As you can imagine, looking after the publicity for the Hairy Bikers’ books is a fun job! Especially when it comes to arranging their nationwide tour every time that Si and Dave bring out a book… Each year, we’ll get hundreds of requests from bookshops, libraries, supermarkets, food festivals, book festivals, literary lunch organisers… you name it, we’ve had a request from every type of venue in the country! IMG_3653 b

What they all have in common is a burning desire for the boys to come and do a book signing and/or a talk at their venue. From Bangor to Bromley, Glasgow to Guildford, event organisers see Dave and Si as a star attraction and don’t I just know it! I have a huge and every expanding folder in my inbox which solely contains of emails of event requests. photo If I said yes to every event, they’d be up and down the country every week meeting their legions of fans and signings thousands of books but then they wouldn’t be able to make any TV programmes or see their friends and families of fulfil any of their other commitments! Also, as you can imagine, the Hairies get a LOT of media requests – whether it’s interviews for TV, radio, newspapers, magazines or online – we have to fit in all of these at the same time as when they’re doing events. That means it’s my job to whittle down all the applications to a select few. Having previously been an event person in a bookshop myself, I know how disappointing it is when you get turned down a venue. But I also know what it feels like when the publisher says yes – it’s such a lift and the nicest part of my job is giving the thumbs up! When they do events, it always amazes me that you can’t pigeonhole their fans – from little toddlers and young children… photo 4 …to rebellious-looking students, from mums and dads and grannies and granddads, the whole family can often be in the queue or part of the audience at an event. photo 5 Also, they can fill up a venue at any time of day. My first event of theirs that I ever organised and attended was at Costco in Leeds last Autumn. It was a Thursday morning, around 11am, and I was expecting a modest queue due to the time of day and the fact it wasn’t the sort of place where you’d get a casual passer-by. But when we entered the warehouse, there were hundreds and hundreds of people! Some were retired folk, or unemployed, some had booked the day off especially to meet their TV food heroes and I think a couple might have pulled a last-minute sickie! It completely took me by surprise and we had to drive down to the next venue at the maximum speed limit to ensure we caught up on the time! photo2 x Another thing I have learnt is to allow extra time whenever they finish an event or leave a TV studio as everyone (and I do mean everyone) wants to say goodbye to them or get a copy of one of their books signed or get a hug (and sometimes all  three!). The boys are about to have their Christmas and New Year break and I will be out of the office at the same time, but on my return, I know that my first day back will be wading through the emails asking for the boys to come to their town.

Their next book will be out in May 2016 so if you’re an event organiser interested in hosting a book event with The Hairy Bikers, please email mark.mcginlay@orionbooks.co.uk.

December 4th 2015  |  Comments are off for this post  |  More: