Happy New Chinese Year to all you Janes out there. If you didn’t know already, this year is the year of the monkey. We thought we would take the opportunity to appreciate some famous and remarkable monkeys, but for the picky readers, we will be incorporating apes and chimps too!

Famous Monkeys: Chinese New Year

Celebrating Chinese New Year: Year of the Monkey

We’ll kick off with a few of our favourite famous monkeys.

Marcel from Friends

All Friends fans will remember back to when Ross had a monkey in Season 1. Spoiler alert: the poor little guy gets given to San Diego Zoo and then stolen to become a film star.

Bubbles the Chimp

Who can forget Michael Jackson’s resident chimp, Bubbles, who enjoyed his life at Neverland Ranch? He reportedly used to sleep in a cot in Jackson’s bedroom and even used the singer’s toilet! He is still around today, living in a sanctuary in America.

Bubbles - Michael Jackson

Jambo The Gorilla

This ape is famous for saving a young boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure at Jersey Zoo in 1986. The huge silverback gorilla stood guard over the five-year-old until the paramedics were able to gain access. This is a pretty remarkable story and there is a statue to celebrate him at the zoo.

Jambo Jersey Zoo

Donkey Kong

The lovable video game monkey had to feature somewhere on here. Starting way back in 1981 with the arcade game, he has come a long way since, making appearances on Mario Kart and even wearing a shirt collar and tie.

Donkey Kong - Chinese New Year

Musical Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys

Front man Alex Turner is probably one of the most notable musicians of the last 10 years. Not only has he got that killer quiff, but his voice is instantly recognisable. These monkeys first found fame in 2002 and have been around ever since.

Arctic Monkeys

The Monkees

You will be forgiven for not remembering these guys as they found fame in the ‘60s. They were responsible for “I’m a Believer” and “Daydream Believer”. Something tells me they liked the word believer… They even had their own TV show too.

The Monkees



The thing that makes this band unique is that it is made up of fictional, digital characters. Created by Damon Albarn (Blur front man) in 1998 these gorillas have put on some very impressive live performances using huge puppets and holograms. To see what we mean check out this YouTube video of them performing at the EMAs in 2005.


Celebs – Year of the Monkey

And finally, we can’t forget some of the celebs born in the last year of the monkey, which was 1992: Stars Wars’ actress Daisy Ridley, model Cara Delevingne, controversial singer and former child TV star Miley Cyrus and Twilight Saga actor Taylor Lautner.

So there you have it – a few famous monkeys to celebrate Chinese New Year!

Are you celebrating Chinese New Year? Let us know – @tweetjanes.

Tickled your fancy?



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