Meet Koko the Gorilla. She’s 44 years old and has a crush on Benedict Cumberbatch.
Yes, you read that right.
Back in 1971, Koko was befriended by student Penny Patterson and the pair have remained close ever since, enjoying a bond that’s the subject of a new BBC1 documentary
Producer Bridget Appleby tells the new edition of Radio Times that Koko has developed similar mannerisms and gestures to human beings. But that’s not all. She’s also attracted to English accents or, to be specific, the voice of curly-haired super sleuth Benedict Cumberbatch.
According to Appleby, Koko’s love of Englishmen began during sittings for artist Richard Stone and she first became attracted to Cumberbatch through the DVDs viewed in her home. “Apparently she has a big crush on him,” explains the producer. “She loves English men.”
Koko and Penny’s relationship originally began as an experiment when the then one-year-old gorilla was loaned to Patterson for her doctoral research. She’s stayed with her ever since, living in a compound near Stanford University campus, and Koko: the Gorilla Who Talks to People (airing next Wednesday, 8:30pm, BBC1) explores the long-term welfare of human-imprinted apes like Koko and the humans close to them.
Read the full interview with Appleby inside this week’s Radio Times – available now in stores and on the newsstand