SIMON King and David Myers have become national treasures, thanks to their passion for deliciously homely food.

The bearded best mates - better known as The Hairy Bikers - tell Taste about the inspiration behind their latest BBC cooking show: The Hairy Bikers Home For Christmas.

Since King and Myers first met in 1995 - when working behind the scenes of a TV series - they’ve been the perfect pairing.

Myers, who was a make-up artist specialising in prosthetics, and King, a former director and locations manager, soon discovered they both shared a huge love of food and motorbikes.

It’s been a few years since a Christmas special from the duo - partly because, Myers says, they didn’t want to “rehash what had already been done”.

“Now we’re a bit older and more ‘mature’, it’s nice to do something in a comfy environment and talk to people about Christmas,” he says.

“The food we’ve cooked and the people we’ve met have been a great experience, and that’s really why we wanted to do it.”

Their new and simple concept sees them chat to fascinating celebrity guests “with wonderful tales to tell”, while rustling up belly rumble-inducing treats for them to try - and each episode has a different theme.

King insists their “mantra is still the same” for all their programmes.

“We don’t want to cook anything on telly that people can’t cook at home - that’s important to us,” he says. “We want people to cook in their homes because there is something very special about that.”

Recent years have seen a successful foray by the pair into healthier food options and recipes.

When they released their first diet book, The Hairy Dieters: How To Love Food And Lose Weight, in summer 2012, it remained at the top of the bestsellers chart for six weeks.

While this series does include a mix of lighter recipes - say, the winter salad and parsnip nests - it’s mainly about indulging in the true spirit of Christmas.

“We had a big process of development where we thought about what we would like to eat if it was there in front of us, and worked it out in a way that people can and will cook it,” explains Myers.

“We hope that these recipes will become part of people’s staple Christmas diets.”

The pair have also come up with savvy solutions for how to use up leftovers, plus suggestions for the perfect New Year’s party.