Legendary tale of Hartlepool monkey to be told to millions of TV viewers

Hartlepool United mascot H'Angus the Monkey. Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool United mascot H'Angus the Monkey. Picture by FRANK REID

THE fascinating tale of the legendary Hartlepool monkey will be told to millions as part of a TV series that looks at quirky British traditions.

The legend, which says the people of Hartlepool hung a monkey fearing it was a French spy during the Napoleonic wars, is set to be retold as part of an ITV show called I Never Knew That About Britain.

As part of the show, presenter Paul Martin and a production crew visited Hartlepool United’s Victoria Park ground and spent time with mascot H’Angus the monkey, who was created in homage to the legend.

He also spoke to town residents about how they came to be known as “monkey-hangers”.

The club hopes it will help explain more to people around the country why they have H’Angus as their mascot.

A Hartlepool United club spokesman said the club was contacted by the show’s production team who asked if they could film at the ground.

Pools allowed the crew to film at a game and shots were also taken of H’Angus and the crew spoke to some supporters about the Monkey legend and how popular H’Angus was as the club.

The spokesman added: “The crew were thrilled with the co-operation the club gave to them during filming and have said they’re pleased with the way the film has turned out.

“We’re happy that people continue to be intrigued by the monkey legend and the fun we have with it by having H’Angus the Monkey as our mascot.

“There are lots of people in the country who probably have no idea about why we have a monkey as a mascot – so hopefully this show will help educate them.”

The first episode of the programme aired on Monday, March 3.

Other episodes will tell the tale of how the world’s first oil tycoon came from Glasgow, when in the 1850s chemist James Young invented a new type of oil called paraffin by distilling coal, how jousting influenced why Britain drives on the left-hand side of the road, and how Romans first mined gold in South Wales.

The presenters, which also include Steve Mould and Suzannah Lipscomb, also travel to Duxford, in Cambridgeshire, to find out how the undercarriage of a Spitfire plane inspired the design of the McLaren pushchair, and to London to discover the inspiration behind the tiered wedding cake and the city’s Newgate Prison to find out how the toothbrush was invented.

The show featuring the Hartlepool monkey legend will air at 8pm on Monday, April 7.