Monkey Business (TV series)
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Monkey Business was a UK TV series that premiered in 1998, focusing on the various primates living at Monkey World, a rescue centre and sanctuary for primates in Dorset, United Kingdom. The series featured Jim Cronin and Alison Cronin, directors of Monkey World, as they travelled around the world rescuing primates often from abusive situations, and bringing them to the Monkey World sanctuary. The goal of Monkey World was the rehabilitation of the rescued primates, who were then released to live within the sanctuary in as natural-a-habitat as possible. The series was narrated by Chris Serle.
The late Jim Cronin MBE was born and raised in the U.S.A. and when he moved to England worked at various animal parks/zoos before co-founding Monkey World with long-time friend Jeremy Keeling in 1987. The pair leased an old pig farm and converted it into the sanctuary which now covers 65 acres.
Jim's wife Dr Alison Cronin worked alongside Jim and is responsible for the day-to-running of the sanctuary, still nursing and feeding the animals herself. The position of Animal Director is held by Jeremy Keeling, who is also a hands-on member of staff.
The Monkey Business series was produced by Meridian Broadcasting and ran for nine seasons on both ITV Meridian and Animal Planet. Those episodes also appeared the National Geographic Channel. After ten years of Monkey Business production, first by Tigress then Meridian ITV and finally by Athena Films on behalf of Meridian and Animal Planet Productions, Monkey Business ended its run with a three-part series called 10 Years of Monkey Business.
Monkey Life, a follow-on series based on the work of Monkey World, was created in 2006 by Primate Planet Productions Ltd and was initially produced and directed by Athena Films before being taken-on wholly and produced in-house by Primate Planet Productions in 2008. Initially shown on Five and later on Pick in the UK, and on Animal Planet and other TV channels worldwide, Monkey Life is now in its ninth season. The first season was narrated by Andy Serkis, famous for voicing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings movies. Seasons two through ten have been narrated by British actor Ralf Little.
The chimpanzees are divided in four groups. The Nursery Group consists of matriarch Sally and several young chimpanzees including Bryan, a rescue from Cancun, Mexico.
Alpha male Butch leads the Bachelor Boys, an all-male group. One of its most famous residents was named Charlie, rescued by Cronin from a beach photographer in Spain who was using the chimp as a prop.
Paddy's Group and Hananya's Group are both family groups. Bart is the youngest in Paddy's group. The internal politics within these groups determine how long each male is leader.
There are 3 orangutan groups. Tuan's Group, Gordon's Group and the Nursery Group, looked after by a foster mother known as Roro. All of the orangutans are part of the international breeding program.
Monkey World is part of the international species breeding program for golden-cheeked gibbons, orangutans and woolly monkeys.