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Sleb Safari: Can you speak ill of a dead monkey?

The Friends cast, minus Marcel the monkey
Maeve Connolly

TYPICALLY when Sleb Safari has been musing on the motivation of monkey ownership it's been talking about Justin Bieber and his ill-fated, but brief, time with Mally the capuchin monkey.

To wit: Justin took Mally to Germany where the authorities seized him, popped him into quarantine and, when his teenage owner didn't reclaim him, sent him to a zoo from where he's likely still feeding exclusive stories to TMZ on a contraband mobile phone. Expect a movie deal any day.

Mally could star as himself or, if he prefers to be behind the camera, could cast the monkey best known for playing Marcel in Friends. Two monkeys - Katie and Monkey - shared the role but Monkey recently died of cancer so it would be Katie bringing her Hollywood nous to the part.

The only problem Sleb Safari foresees would be if Mally wanted to cast David Schwimmer because he has royally annoyed Katie's handler.

Justin Bieber and Mally the monkey

David made some comments about Marcel the monkey(s) during The Friends reunion and the monkey trainer has come back, spitting bricks.

In a (pea)nut shell David said that Marcel didn't always "hit its mark" which messed up the scene.

"So, we'd have to reset, we'd have to go again because the monkey didn't get it right" and that "kept happening over and over, where we're about to do something really funny, but the monkey didn't hit its mark," David said.

His second criticism was that the monkey would be fed live grubs as it sat on his shoulder between takes. The primate would tear those tasty treats in two, munch on them and then run his hands through the actor's hair "so I'd have monkey grubby hands all over".

Mike Morris the monkey trainer went ape when he heard what David had said about his charges. He told The Sun that David had been jealous of Katie and Monkey.

"I did about five episodes and the first couple episodes, David Schwimmer was pretty good with the monkeys. After that, he seemed to get a little bitter about them being there."

He continued: "I think David Schwimmer probably had a little trouble with the monkey, and it's just my opinion. The first couple of episodes he was pretty friendly with the monkey, and after that, the monkey was getting a lot of laughs. Either it was throwing him off or [he was] getting a little jealous, I don't know. One of those two things."

The relationship became strained, apparently.

"We had to rehearse with the monkey by herself and then [Schwimmer] would come in and things wouldn't be the same, so it made it harder," the trainer said.

"It got to the point where he just really resented the monkey being there — he obviously had a problem with her and he's still talking about it now."

And then it gets really personal.

"The other capuchin who played Marcel was called Monkey and passed away recently from cancer, so Schwimmer was talking ill of the dead when he made those comments."

They do say you should never work with children or animals but this has taken it to a whole new level.

Beyoncé and Jay Z's car for picnics

Beyonce and Jay-Z 

Thanks to Hello! we are bang up to date with the contents of Beyoncé and Jay-Z's garage for the magazine reports that the couple have purchased "the world's most expensive car".

Sleb Safari's mind immediately went to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang but incredibly there is a more valuable car in existence. It's a £20 million custom-built Rolls-Royce with "compartments in the rear that house a champagne cooler, a Christofle picnic set, cocktail tables, matching chairs and a full-sized parasol".

So this vehicle is... for people who are too famous to go to the beach for a sandwich on the sand so they park up nearby and picnic inside the vehicle? Has Sleb Safari got that right?

Paddington 3 is happening

Paddington Bear 

The best news you will receive this week, nay this month, is that Paddington 3 is being made.

Representatives from Studiocanal told Variety: "We can confirm Studiocanal is working very hard on film three with the utmost craft and care - as with film one and two."

Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant were perfect baddies in the first two films so we can expect their successor to be equally splendid.

A little bear in a blue duffle coat and red hat, giving someone a hard stare is just what the doctor ordered. Roll on Paddington 3.

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