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Cheese fan launches mission to log celebrities’ favourite fromages

Joe Bangles, real name Alan Pender, has found dozens of celebrities’ favourite cheeses, including Stephen Fry, Jameela Jamil and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

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(Kirsty O’Connor/Isabel Infantes/PA)

(Kirsty O’Connor/Isabel Infantes/PA)

(Kirsty O’Connor/Isabel Infantes/PA)

A cheese fan is on a mission to discover the favourite fromage of the stars.

Dairy devotee Joe Bangles, whose real name is Alan Pender, has spent the last three months on Twitter asking celebrities what their favourite cheese is, and has elicited responses from dozens of famous faces including John Cleese, Jameela Jamil and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

He told Good Morning Britain a “heady mix of alcohol, curiosity and boredom” had inspired him to seek out the stars’ most cherished cheeses.

“Twelve weeks ago I joined Twitter for the first time,” he told the ITV breakfast programme. “I asked friend of the show Lord Alan Sugar and he replied within a couple of minutes.

“Within the next 24 hours John Cleese replied, (and) Brian Cox, and it just spiralled from there really.”

Professor Brian Cox said his favourite cheese of the moment was Cantal, while former Monty Python star Cleese said: “Gorgonzola, Jarlsberg, Gouda, Emmenthal, Comte and Venezuelan Beaver Cheese (Aged). All first equal…”

Charlie Brooker said Gorgonzola, Dawn French went for Cornish Yarg, Gloria Gaynor said mozzarella and Sam Neill picked Montgomery Cheddar.

So far he has had no response from Donald Trump, but among the politicians who have responded are Sajid Javid, David Lammy, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford and former US Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang.

In a live Q&A session on changing lockdown restrictions broadcast by the Welsh government, Mr Drakeford responded to the question saying: “Caerphilly is a cheese I really like, that crumbly, slightly salty cheese that is Caerphilly, but actually there’s a lot of cheeses I really like.”

Asked which celebrities he was most pleased to have responses from, Pender cited Stephen Fry, who chose Reblochon, and astronaut Tim Peake, who said: “I love Comte and a good blue cheese.”

But he knows there are some people he has reached out to who are unlikely to respond.

“I’ve also gnawed away at Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama so I’m setting the bar a little bit high for myself,” he said. “I do appreciate they won’t all reply.”

But many do respond, including Armando Iannucci, who chose provolone, Lauren Laverne, who plumped for brie, and Jimmy Fallon, who went for cheddar.

Pender, whose own favourite is a Black Bomber Cheddar, said he hopes his cheese survey will bring a smile to people’s faces.

He told GMB: “I know it’s rather inane but it was just an attempt to add some cheese-based levity to some of the darker corners of Twitter, which there seem to be an abundance of at the minute.”

PA