- "And it is! This is one of the heaviest in its class...the lifting arm and spike could mean that it's all "gorgonz-over" for opponents!"
- — Jonathan Pearce introduces The Big Cheese
The Big Cheese (also known as Big Cheese) was the first of two cheese-based machines entered by Roger Plant and Team Big Cheese. It exclusively competed in Series 3 of Robot Wars, where it reached the Heat Final before being eliminated by the eventual champion Chaos 2. It was succeeded by Wheely Big Cheese.
The Big Cheese was a large, classic wedge-shaped robot, designed to look like a piece of cheese. It was armed with a large rear-hinged red lifting arm that was capable of lifting a Mini Cooper, and it showed this strength in the arena too - by hoisting opponents high in the air and pitting them. A bladed tip on the end of the lifting arm allowed for extra purchase while lifting.
The Big Cheese was very powerful, capable of lifting even House Robot Sgt. Bash into the air. The interior of the machine featured guided missile and submarine components, as Roger Plant was a mini-submarine pilot. Plant described the robot as "quite fast, very manoeuvrable and very dangerous", although this conflicts with the robot's actual top speed of only 5 mph.
When it arrived at the auditions, The Big Cheese weighed in at 83.8 kg, 4.4 kg over the weight limit. Although it was revised to weigh 79.4 kg by the time of filming, The Big Cheese's audition weight was still used in its statistics board.
- "The Big Cheese the winner, and it was ever so easy."
- — Jonathan Pearce at the end of The Big Cheese's first fight
The Big Cheese participated in Heat E of the Third Wars. In the first round of the heat, The Big Cheese was placed up against newcomers to the main competition in Shrapnel.
In the battle, despite Shrapnel boasting a very high weight and a very low clearance, The Big Cheese easily got underneath it with its lifting arm after approaching its sluggish opponent. Team Big Cheese's machine used this advantage to lift up Shrapnel, high above the ground. The Big Cheese then carried it effortlessly over to the pit of oblivion and dropped it in, declaring it the winner of the battle and easily putting it through to the next round of the heat.
- Philippa Forrester: "You've taken over from Sir Killalot's job haven't you? Its usually his job dumping robots in the pit."
- Roger Plant: "Well he was absent, I mean...he's not here, we'll do his job for him. When he is here, we might do his job for him - with him."
- Philippa Forrester: "Oh! Fighting talk from Roger."
- — Post-Shrapnel battle
In the second round of the heat, The Big Cheese was placed up against another newcomer to the main competition in Anorakaphobia.
Anorakaphobia was a far quicker adversary than Shrapnel, forcing the more sluggish Big Cheese machine to chase after it throughout the entire battle. Anorakaphobia spent a lot of time trying to dodge away from the dreaded lifting arm of The Big Cheese, trying to create its own run-up to hit the previous heat-finalists side on with its axe weapon. Later on in the battle, in a skilful and lucky move, The Big Cheese finally got near to its opponent, trapped Anorakaphobia's active hammer between the arm and the wedge, giving it a dragging advantage. This allowed The Big Cheese to easily steer the less powerful Anorakaphobia forward towards the pit of oblivion, before pitting Anorakaphobia, putting it through to the Heat Final.
- Craig Charles: "Is this the biggest robot in the competition?"
- Roger Plant: "No, but it's the best!"
- — Post-battle
What followed was a battle that was voted the best battle of the series: eventual champions Chaos 2 up against The Big Cheese. This was the first and only battle that saw The Big Cheese against another veteran team.
- "Really for the first time, in this heat, in danger, Chaos 2"
- — Jonathan Pearce after The Big Cheese's first move
At the start of the battle, The Big Cheese slid beneath Chaos 2's side, using a Roadblock-esque move, combined with its lifter, to tip the championship favourites onto its side, but it wasn't quite enough to get it all the way over, and the future champions came back down to the floor. The two machines then danced around each other before Chaos 2 then flipped The Big Cheese when the two met head on. Chaos 2 charged it over to the flame pit and flipped it against the arena wall, accidentally righting it. The Big Cheese then fought back, coming in side on and flipping Chaos 2 over, and pushing it against the arena wall. However, The Big Cheese then gave it room to self-right, and Chaos 2 did. Chaos 2 then retaliated, flipping The Big Cheese over.
- "Driving underneath Big Cheese and flipping him up and over this time. And let me tell you, The Big Cheese weighs as much as an adult!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as The Big Cheese is thrown over
The Big Cheese came very close to self-righting, but just could not tip back onto its wheels, as not only was its lifting arm only working at half throttle, Chaos 2 was trying to hold it in place. The lifter slowly closed and it was then attacked by House Robots after a spin of delight from Chaos 2. However, after Sir Killalot had caused damage to its side and bottom, righted it and placed it on the arena floor flipper, The Big Cheese escaped and attacked Sgt. Bash, lifting the House Robot off the ground, until his rear half detached and fell to the ground. It was only when Sir Killalot joined in that The Big Cheese toppled over from the weight. Cease was eventually called and The Big Cheese was eliminated from the competition.
- "That was a really great fight. He had us over a couple of times, I thought he was going to squash us at one point!"
- — George Francis on The Big Cheese during the fight
At the end of the series, The Big Cheese was nominated for the Best Engineered Award, however it lost to the robot that also beat it in the main competition, Chaos 2.
|THE BIG CHEESE - RESULTS|
|The Third Wars - UK Championship|
|Heat E, Round 1||vs. Shrapnel||Won|
|Heat E, Round 2||vs. Anorakaphobia||Won|
|Heat E, Final||vs. Chaos 2||Lost|
- Wins: 2
- Losses: 1
|Main Series||The Big Cheese Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Entered with The Mule|
|The Third Wars||Heat Final|
|The Fourth Wars||Entered with Wheely Big Cheese|
|The Fifth Wars||Entered with Wheely Big Cheese|
|The Sixth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Seventh Wars||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
|Series 1||Entered with Wheely Big Cheese|
|Series 2||Did not enter|
Appearances in Merchandise
Outside Robot Wars
After Roger Plant stopped competing in Robot Wars, he sold all of his robots. The Big Cheese was sold over eBay for £500 to an unknown buyer.
The Big Cheese was later sold to roboteer Joseph Prophet in 2008, who formed Team ThunderCheese, nowadays known as Team Ironclads. The team also built a wedge-shaped featherweight Small Cheese in homage to The Big Cheese. After a numer of live event displays, The Big Cheese was resigned to the team's wall as a decoration. The Big Cheese made an appearance as a static display at Robonerd in September 2021. For more information on the Team Ironclads' excursions aside from The Big Cheese, see ThunderChild and Audacious.
Robot Wars Live Events
Joseph Prophet took The Big Cheese to a number of Robot Wars live events, such as the Maidstone and Gloucester events in 2013.
- There was another heavyweight machine that was to be entered for Series 3 called The Big Cheese. It was made by Liverdyne Robotics, but it was not completed in time for the main competition, and the team halted production after discovering that the name had been taken.
- The Big Cheese's heat final battle against Chaos 2 was voted Best Battle of the Series in Series 3.
- Ironically, The Big Cheese and Chaos 2, who met in the final of their Heat, were the only losing Heat Finalists in Series 2 to reach that stage in the following war.
- The interior of the machine featured guided missile and submarine components, as Roger Plant was a mini-submarine pilot.
- The Big Cheese is one of three robots to lose both a battle and an award to the same robot in the same series. The other two are Bigger Brother losing Best Design to Razer in The Fifth Wars, and The Creature losing Best Design to Gemini in The Fourth Wars.
- Best Engineered Award - Robot Wars: The Third Wars