Si King health: The Hairy Biker’s ‘difficult’ health history – symptoms to spot

Hairy Bikers: Si King on their latest series 'Go North'

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The motorcycling chef is currently on our screens with Dave, as they host The Hairy Bikers Go North on BBC Two. The pair are travelling back to where they grew up making the whole experience quite emotional for them both. It was going to places like Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, as well as the therapeutic project Growing Well in Kendal, where Si opens up about his mental health struggles.

“Si had some problems with depression, he won’t mind me saying that,” Dave says.

“There was this time at the NEC in Birmingham, and we were there in front of 3,000 people cooking away, and being happy, and I looked at him and deep down inside, he didn’t know what way to turn.

“I did feel so sorry for him. As the years have gone by, I am only just now beginning to respect what it took for him to get up there with me to do the show and also to give the 3,000 people who bought the tickets what they came for.

“Anyone can wake up in a bit of a fug, but we always sense that and it can be something as simple as me saying to Si: ‘Oi you, here. Come here, and have a cuddle and a slap across the chops.’”

Talking to the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine, Si bravely opened up about the period in his life where he found himself struggling and asking “who have I become?”

Recalling his separation from wife Jane he said: “We lost each other. Jane was focused on the family and I was focused on work.

“The reality is the industry we work in is incredibly brutal. There are timelines and deadlines. You have to be on form. Some people can do it. I find it quite difficult.

“When you’re in it you just get on with it but then something happens and you think, ‘Christ almighty, who am I now? Who have I become?’”

Following his separation, Si sadly lost his mother Stella, and if things couldn’t have gotten any worse the TV chef then had a “scary” health scare.

“My mum died and then I had the aneurysm. Because I’d been separated from Jane for two or three years at that point I completely lost it. I didn’t know who I was any more,” he explained.

Despite separating, his wife Jane rushed to his bedside when Si was taken to hospital. “It was scary for me, but I think it was even more difficult for my kids and wife Jane at my bedside,” he said.

“I was rushed into surgery and I had an occlusion, which is an operation to stop the blood flowing through the ruptured blood vessel to direct it elsewhere. After that I was in intensive therapy for four days. I had all sorts of pipes and wires coming out of me, hooked to machines.”

The condition which started out as severe headaches, was a serious “life-or-death” situation for Si, and he is incredibly lucky to have come out the other side with no long-lasting effects.

An aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall. As blood passes through this weakness the pressure causes the area to bulge outwards. In order to spot the first signs of an aneurysm, the NHS states to look-out for these symptoms:

  • A sudden agonising headache – it’s been described as a “thunderclap headache”, similar to a sudden hit on the head, resulting in a blinding pain unlike anything experienced before
  • A stiff neck
  • Sickness and vomiting
  • Pain on looking at light.

In addition, if you or someone you love is struggling with their mental health, individuals can text SHOUT to 85258 at any time to receive support.

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