Wedginald is Retired22 Dec 2007, Posted by news & buzz in
If you listened to my Food Philosophy audio and video shows featuring the cheeky Brit Dom Lane and Wedginald, the star of CheddarVision, you know that at some point Wedginald would reach his first birthday and be retired from his starring role. Well, my friends, that time has come. Behold:
Last Episode Of cheddarvision.tv Is A Cheesey Christmas Special 21 Dec 07
Today, in the final chapter of perhaps one of the most surprising stories of the year, Wedginald, the 44lb star of www.cheddarvision.tv retired from the small screen and jetted off down under. After 12 months starring on possibly the most boring broadcast channel in the world, the celebrity Cheddar departed from Heathrow.
From humble beginnings a year ago, a round of handmade West Country Farmhouse Cheddar maturing live 24/7 on the internet has become a worldwide viewing phenomenon, entertaining over 1.7 million visitors across the globe from Iceland to India and New York to New Zealand.
In November the cheese was auctioned online in aid of BBC Children in Need. The sale raised three times the cheeseâ€™s market value and saw Waitrose, Branston Pickle and Pieminister bidding over the odds for the chance to give the internet star a new home. In the end the 44lb traditional Cheddar as won by a winemaker from Marlborough, New Zealand, who, ironically, grew up in Somerset.
Joining thousands of other Air New Zealand passengers flying home this Christmas, Wedginald is travelling 12,000 miles to join the team at Mud House Winery, where they plan to let the traditional Cheddar mature for a little longer before sampling the delicacy with a glass of their own new vintage next year.
Born this time last year Cheddarvision was the brainchild of co-op West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers. â€œWe set up Cheddarvision to let the whole world appreciate just how long it takes to create a perfect-tasting West Country Farmhouse Cheddar. We never thought for a moment that the website would become this popular. The cheese has nearly 1,200 Myspace friends and time-lapse videos of Wedginaldâ€™s maturation have been viewed on YouTube 430,000 timesâ€ says cheesemaker Tom Calver.
Philip Crawford, chairman of the West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers group, explains: â€œWeâ€™re very proud of our cheese. The West Country Farmhouse Cheddar featured is one of just 14 UK products to carry the prestigious Protected Designation of Origin status, ranking it alongside world-famous epicurean treasures such as Champagne, Parma Ham and Cognac. Itâ€™s been great to see such an icon of British food get the attention it deserves. We hope Wedginald doesnâ€™t have any problems getting through customs. He has been slowly maturing for 12 months and doesnâ€™t look anything like his passport photo.â€