Back in 2007 we got together with West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers, Deep Blue Sky ad agency and the brilliant PR agency Bray Leino to create Cheddarvision, a live, 24/7 webcam showing a Cheddar maturing in our ageing room from the day it was made until its maturation.
What started as a bit of fun and a chance to highlight the importance of time and terroir in the production of traditional Cheddar cheese quickly escalated into a proper 21st century internet phenomenon, with nearly 2 million people logging on to have a look our cheese – who was eventually named Wedginald!
The story was picked up everywhere, by all the big media outlets (British broadsheet newspapers, BBC radio and TV) as well as across Europe and in America. Just look at some of these links, from The Guardian, BBC News, Norway's Dag Bladet, and even the New York Times. To this day, 'Wedginald' has his own Wikipedia page and he/it became quite the celebrity, with appearances on BBC Children In Need and Glastonbury Festival, a Valentine's card from the US and a signed rugby ball from the England Rugby Team. It all went a bit mental.
And what became of Wedginald? Well, obviously he couldn't just mix back in with our other Cheddars, not with his new-found celebrity status. They'd turn on him for sure. So he was auctioned off by BBC Children In Need and was claimed by the highest bidder …in New Zealand! And that's where Wedginald ended up, flying first class courtesy of Air New Zealand to his new home on the other side of the world. I still don't really believe it myself, but it all happened! Tom.