Mother's Monkey to take on Ant and Dec with new BBC show

Mother has been commissioned to create a pilot TV show presented by Monkey, the ex-star of ITV Digital's ads.

The 50-minute one-off special, Watch With Monkey, will be screened on BBC 1 early next year. If successful, the character could secure a permanent primetime Saturday night slot.

The format will include a gameshow element, along with an outside broadcast and hard-hitting exclusive celebrity interviews.

The Mother partner Andy Medd said: "We want to create a real family entertainment show that everyone can sit down and enjoy. When we started doing the ITV Digital Monkey campaign, we knew it was great. But the level of interest people have shown in this knitted chimp has been pretty extraordinary."

Monkey first appeared on TV screens in 2001 as the side-kick to the comedian Johnny Vegas in a series of ads for ITV Digital.

The show will unite creative teams at the BBC, The Jim Henson Organisation, Comic Relief and Mother.