Monkey News

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For the blog created by Ricky Gervais see Monkey News (blog)

"What we're doing here, right, is just giving you a bit of monkey news that's gone on, where a monkey's been involved in it. Good little story an' that." - Karl Pilkington (The Ricky Gervais Podcast, 5 December 2005)

Monkey News (originally Chimpanzee That) was a regular feature of the Xfm radio shows, and some podcasts, in which Karl re-tells a story he has read about a monkey or an ape. The stories are usually very loosely based on a factual report he has read on the Internet where monkeys (or more often, chimpanzees) have done something very unusual or human-like. Ricky Gervais introduces this section with a jingle: "Ooooh, Chimpanzee That! MONKEYNEWS yerff-cc--grr", as is usually the case with other features of the show. On the final show of the first series of The Ricky Gervais Show podcasts, Karl announced he would no longer be doing "Monkey News" as he believes all news featuring monkeys has been covered.


Hairy Chinese Kid and other hirsute children were mentioned by Karl many times in Series 1 and early in Series 2 of the Xfm shows; many people see this as the precursor to Monkey News. In episode 22 of series 2 Karl tells Ricky and Steve of a chimpanzee with human traits (such as drinking brandy and flirting with women!) - this is his first telling of the story of Oliver the Humanzee. The following week (Series 2, Episode 23) sees this become a proper weekly feature of the show for the first time (called Chimpanzee That) complete with its own jingle, performed by Ricky ("Ooooh, Chimpanzee That!"). In Episode 30 of series 2 the feature is referred to as Monkey News for the first time, rather than Chimpanzee That, but the Monkey News jingle is not used.

Factual Accuracy

Throughout the history of Monkey News, the factual accuracy of the stories reported is consistently questioned by both Ricky and Steve. They are sometimes so incredulous of the Monkey News story, they take it as accepted that the story is false and proceed to question how Karl can even believe the story is possible. Karl consistently denied that Monkey News was inaccurate, however in Series 1, Episode 3 of the The Ricky Gervais Show podcasts, Karl defends his newest Monkey News stating, "I'm telling you what, I know sometimes I step over the mark and [the Monkey News stories] are made up-". This is the first time Karl has admitted that some Monkey News stories have been false. It was not clarified whether this was an admission that he, himself, had made up the Monkey News stories or whether he had merely reported stories that were later proved to be untrue.

List Of Monkey News Items

Xfm Shows

Radio 2 Shows

The Ricky Gervais Show Podcast

  • Podcast - Series 1
    • Series 1 Episode 1: Monkey in space (visits the Moon), wasn't allowed to go back in space, ends up commiting suicide because couldn't reach "the buzz" similar to space traveling any other way
    • Series 1 Episode 2: Monkey bargain hunter
    • Series 1 Episode 3: Monkey Sanctuary where women workers were encouraged to bare their breasts to the gorillas. [6]
    • Series 1 Episode 4: Monkey hosts chat show in Moscow, chats with Cher (this was something Steve Merchant suggested, and Karl then added it as part of the story)
    • Series 1 Episode 5: Monkey lives with zoo keeper. Monkey starts acting like a human person, starts hitting on zoo keeper's wife, ends up living with zoo keeper's wife
    • Series 1 Episode 6: Monkey saves people from burning building, still works for NY Fire Department
    • Series 1 Episode 7: Monkey builder goes from building to building just building. (Flash video)
    • Series 1 Episode 8: Monkey crashes bobsled during Winter Olympics because of photographers' cameras flashes, is taken by an ambulance, ends up in zoo with some sort of neck guard
    • Series 1 Episode 9: Monkey Pilot, gets caught by a passenger who rushes into cockpit wanting a bag of nuts
    • Series 1 Episode 10: Monkey Jockey, wins a race, grabs a fruit from a lady's hat and gets caught
    • Series 1 Episode 11: Monkey eye surgeon - "Chimp Doctors"; man with a bad eyesight reads newspaper advertisement "Chimp doctors" as "cheap doctors", is bewildered after finding out his eyes were fixed by a chimp doctor
    • Series 1 Episode 12: Monkey in space update, apparently there's a museum for "chimponauts"
  • Podcast - Series 3
    • Series 3 Episode 6 Monkey brings "great ape fruit juice" to a town in the middle of nowhere, a long time ago.

KP Radio

    • 21.05.20: Monkey on a little motorbike "chimps in" to help police the lockdown somewhere in Asia.

Famous Monkeys

Monkey 86 - Drove to Spain after nicking a car from a magician he used to work for.

Alfred the Monkey - Intercepted a bank robber(mid-heist) and made off with his loot before returning to his zoo to try and negotiate the release of the other chimps.

Marty - The web-using monkey you can supposedly have a chat with over the internet.

Ham - The first monkey to be sent into space. According to Karl, when he pressed the 'left button' he gets a banana. Also, according to Karl, within the spaceship there are left, right, and reverse buttons.

Enos - The second monkey to go into space, following Ham's successful mission. In real life, the rocket did not sustain proper altitude and the mission had to be aborted so Enos was returned safely to Earth. In Karl's world, the two buttons became reversed so the one for "everything else" began dispensing bananas. Fortunately, Enos figured it out and is now living in a monkey retirement home with Ham and all the other "Chimponauts" "talking about the old times and that."

Crap - The first monkey to have his name tattooed to his forehead. Possible source [7], do a find on crap.

Ollie the Chimp - Again, a story that has a basis in fact, but Karl has extrapolated a load of old nonsense from the tale. In the world the rest of us inhabit, Ollie was a chimpanzee suspected to be a "missing link" between humans and apes. In Karl's world, Ollie befriended a zoo-keeper who took him out for dinners and eventually let him live with him. Ollie would "start the day with a cuppa tea, end on a brandy", and in the end of the story run off with the zoo-keeper's wife, leaving him a lonely divorcee. (See wikipedia: Humanzee, Oliver)

Jack - a monkey (actually a baboon) that got pal-ly with a bloke who worked in a railway station. Jack took over when the bloke lost a leg. This appears to be true: See wikipedia: [8]

Jenny - The FDNY monkey [9]

Download Links

Official animation of the monkey news