THE makers of the favourite cheese of a mad-cap inventor and animal lover have celebrated 30 years of much-loved TV duo, Wallace and Gromit.

Wallace has been passionate about Wensleydale Cheese since Christmas 1995, when he first declared his love for the crumbly fromage.

Cheesemakers at The Wensleydale Creamery, in Hawes, have marked the occasion with a specially designed commemorative cheese truckle.

Wallace and Gromit, the beloved inventor and his genius pet dog, have been fans of cheese since their first film, ‘A Grand Day Out’.

But for the Wensleydale Creamery, the partnership began on Christmas Eve 1995, when David Hartley, the Creamery’s managing director, received a cryptic postcard from Vernon Sproxton, father of Aardman’s co-founder, David Sproxton.

The postcard urged him to keep his eyes peeled for a BBC2 Christmas Eve Wallace and Gromit special, which is when we first saw Wallace declaring his love for Wensleydale Cheese in the film ‘A Close Shave’.

It was the unique name that drew creator Nick Park to Yorkshire Wensleydale, and it has been Wallace’s favourite cheese ever since. Over time, the infamous duo have become synonymous with Wensleydale cheese.

Mr Hartley said: “We’re incredibly proud that Wallace and Gromit chose to share their fondness of our much-loved cheese on the Christmas Eve episode back in 1995.

“Wallace and Gromit’s popularity has helped raise awareness for British cheese and specifically Yorkshire Wensleydale, and the loveable characters have now become a symbol of true love for our cheese.

"We wanted to show our own support and dedication to them by creating a unique label for our original Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese to celebrate their 30th birthday.

“Visitors to the Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre can also discover a range of W&G merchandise in the gift shop, as well as have their photo taken with them the famous pair with a bespoke display crafted by a local charity in the Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese Experience.”

The signature crumbly Wensleydale Cheese sets the creamy and full flavoured ‘Yorkshire Wensleydale’ cheese from other Wensleydale cheeses produced in other counties around the UK.

Due to the PGI status, obtained in 2013, cheese-makers outside the designated area can only call their cheese ‘Wensleydale’ not ‘Yorkshire Wensleydale’, ensuring the creamery’s products always stand out as the original product.

The Aardman studio’s work includes the creation of much-loved television characters including Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Morph.