These days Spangle Teatray is probably the world’s most famous TV scientist. Both TV critics and viewers regard her hit BBC TV series on Norman Ninestein’s Special Theory of Cheese as the best science programme ever on TV. As one critic said, ‘it is the most comprehensive scientific description of the fundamental role cheese plays in the universe for a popular audience.’
In viewing figures alone, the Theory of Cheese series beat several series of The Naked Auditor, C4’s frank expose of naturist accountancy, presented by Sprinkle Doubleentry, the world’s leading naughty accountant.
The viewing public these days is rather blasé about naked accountancy after what seems like a whole slew of programmes on TV featuring undressed accountancy and naked auditing. So perhaps the time was right for a series of programmes about the fundamental nature of cheese and its role in the formation of the universe.
As Teatray pointed out in the third programme of the twelve episode series, cheese is fundamental to the universe, both in its strong and weak versions. As anyone knows who has tried to slice through melted cheese on a cheese toastie, or even on a pizza, it is difficult to separate the powerful bonds that hold cheese together in this form.
Although, if you have ever tried to get some Cheshire or Wensleydale onto a cheese cracker, only to see it crumble into tiny – almost sub atomic particles, you’ll understand that there is much about the weak cheese force that is still a mystery.
As most people know, the Earth’s moon is made of cheese. But what they do not know is that most of the planets, apart from the gas giants mainly consist of cheese. For example, recent scientific work on the geology of Mars has proved beyond all doubt that the planet is made from a substance not unlike the Red Leicester cheese found on Earth. Some cosmologists speculate that the naturally occurring Red Leicester cheese on Earth and the red planet could have formed from a collision between one of the planets – probably Earth – and an asteroid made of red cheese.
As Teatray points out in the penultimate programme of the series, there is also some strong speculation that the gas giants themselves may have a solid core, perhaps one of the stronger blue cheeses such as Stilton, gorgonzola or even Danish blue, which would then account for the gasses, which make up most the mass of these planets.
Recent satellite images of Saturn’s rings have proved, beyond doubt that the rings are fragments of the more crumbly cheeses, held in position by an inner ring of cheese cracker fragments left over from the formation of the solar system.
However, scientists and cosmologists have still to discover a unifying theory of everything that combines all the major forces of nature into one. They have completed much work on the problem. But how the cheese force combines with the fundamental force of cats to create the universe as we know it remains a mystery.