The Hairy Bikers surprised Exmouth RNLI when they rode into town to cook a surprise meal for the brave crew

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Television chefs The Hairy Bikers cooked up a surprise for Exmouth’s RNLI crew when they teamed up with lifeboatman Roger Jackson.

Inshore lifeboat helmsman Roger, 44, was recently awarded a medal of gallantry for his part in rescuing four people from a capsized powerboat in rough seas last October.

Roger welcomed the help of the Hairy Bikers’ culinary skills as he was keen to thank all the crew for supporting him during the rescue. Fellow RNLI crew Mark Champion and Andy Williams, who manned the inshore lifeboat during the same shout, were also celebrated by being each awarded a velum inscription of thanks from the RNLI .

Roger said: “The whole thing was meant to be a surprise for the people involved. I had taken a bit of the limelight with the medal so it was nice to give the others a nice surprise.

“The others didn’t actually realise, they thought they were coming for the velum presentation.

“They knew something was going on but they didn’t know what it was. They may have guessed about the meal because there was a lot of food upstairs in the boathouse, but they didn’t guess about The Hairy Bikers.”

When Hairy Bikers Simon King and Dave Myers heard of Roger’s efforts and how he modestly said his rescue success was down to the whole crew, they asked if he would like to cook a meal for the RNLI volunteers.

Roger, who spent two days in the TV chefs’ company, said he did not believe his actions - where he perfectly maneuvered the inshore lifeboat in stormy seas, saving the lives of four – had been anything special.

He said he was genuinely shocked when the call came from the television chefs.

“I was like ‘blimming ‘eck , are you sure it’s me’. I didn’t realise what I had done was such a big thing,” said Roger.

“They saw my interview on TV and they liked how I said the medal was for everybody, not just me. Hanging around with them was awesome. I had a real laugh, they were really down to earth and good fun - such nice people.

“They looked after me. I was really worried about filming and they told me to be myself.”

The TV chefs arrived in Exmouth last Wednesday and with Roger they sourced locally-grown and produced food for the meal.

The details of the feast cooked for the RNLI crew is under wraps until The Hairy Bikers’ new series, Everyday Gourmet, is aired on BBC Two in the New Year.

Roger would only reveal how the trio shopped at Greendale Farm Shop, on the Sidmouth Road.

Beachgoers watched as the top of the lifeboat station ramp was cordoned off and turned into a make-shift al fresco restaurant, with a long table set for the crew.

The surprise was revealed when The Hairy Bikers suddenly appeared on the bow of the all-weather lifeboat, with its nose sticking out of the boathouse, and greeted the crew seated below.

After the meal the velum awards were presented to the inshore lifeboat crew.

Tractor driver Dr Colin May received a framed letter of thanks from RNLI chief executive Paul Boissier, for his ‘persistence’ to launch in such severe sea conditions.

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