Meet the chimpanzee with a smartphone on new BBC1 wildlife show Monkey Planet

George McGavin will come face to face with our closest relatives in the wild, but also meets an orang-utan that uses soap and macaques who floss

Insect hunter George McGavin is jumping species to go off in search of primates for Monkey Planet, a new BBC1 series announced this morning.


McGavin, a regular on the One Show and part of the presenting team on BBC1 programmes like Expedition Borneo and Lost Land of the Tiger, takes off on his own this time to explore the world of our closest animal relatives.

Most of the three-part series is spent in the wild, but McGavin does bump into an orang-utan that uses soap to maintain personal hygiene and a chimpanzee that can not only order up a meal on a smartphone, but is also able to make its own fire. He also observes long-tailed macaques in Thailand who floss their teeth with human hair.

“The chance to see some of our amazing primate family face-to-face is something any zoologist would jump at,” says McGavin. “Primates are intelligent and resourceful animals but many species are threatened from hunting and habitat loss. I can only hope that we have the intelligence to see that they are an important part of the planet’s biodiversity and make sure that they survive”.