By our man with a large banana, Snooper van Minge
He was the Gorilla with the world at his feet. A national TV star who wowed the nation with his drumming abilities but now sadly, that is a distant memory for chocolate bar front man Dave Skelton. For now instead of performing in front of sell-out crowds and appearing in-between our favourite TV shows, Dave has been reduced to dressing up and worse in order to make ends meet.
Plucked from obscurity by Cadbury advertising executives searching for an innovative new campaign for their chocolate ads, Dave was catapulted to stardom when viewers saw him performing a rendition of the Phil Collins hit, ‘In the air tonight’. “His drumming, timing and performance as a whole is impeccable” said baldy has-been Collins at the time. Within days of the commercial airing, Dave was receiving literally sacks of fan mail. “It all happened so fast” lamented Dave. “No-one tells you how these things can snow ball. One minute I’m sat in the monkey house at London Zoo picking my arse and peeing on myself for the amusement of the visitors, the next I’m in the penthouse suite of the Ritz opening packets of knickers that lady gorilla’s have sent me. It’s an adjustment you’re just not prepared for” he explained.
As his popularity grew, so did the demands of his adoring public and soon Dave was on a ceaseless conveyor belt of public appearances, and present at a host of social events. Inevitably, the stress became too much and after an incident following his appearance on daytime TV show This Morning, Dave cracked. “It was horrendous” sobbed Dave. “After the show I was in the green room on my own when a runner passed me a message saying Fern wanted to see me in her dressing room. I thought maybe she wanted an autograph or something.” But Fern was after something much more than an autograph as Dave explained. “I went in and she was draped over a sofa wearing nothing but a smile and an ape mask. She was playing suggestively with a banana and in the background I could hear ‘In the Jungle’ playing. Nothing can prepare you for something like that and I just ran. The next thing I knew I was in my hotel room snorting cocaine, drinking and knocking one out to Gorilla’s in the Mist.”
But things were to get much worse for Dave. Because of his increasing dependency on cocaine and banana liqueur, he began arriving late for public appearances or failed to turn up at all. Eventually the Cadbury bosses decided enough was enough and terminated his contract. “I woke up in my hotel room, a lady Chimpanzee on either side of me and with a savage hangover. The TV was on and was showing the new Cadbury’s ad only I wasn’t in it. I couldn’t believe it. Instead there were these two little freaks raising their eyebrows to some annoying electro beat. I’d been dumped and this was how I found out.” Dave’s reaction was to trash the hotel room in which he was staying and was soon arrested after the management called police. This was the first in a series of brushes with the law but Dave was unwilling or unable to mend his ways. “I was just so angry” he explained. “I felt used an abused and I just didn’t care anymore”.
Still harbouring a cocaine habit, Dave has been reduced to taking part in lab tests or making appearances at gaming events dressing up as Donkey Kong to make ends meet. “It’s demeaning I’ll admit” he said. “I don’t mind smoking 60 fags a day in the lab to be honest. Funny enough I don’t even mind when they squirt perfume in my eyes or apply a bit of lippy but the gaming thing, that’s pretty bad. Still, I haven’t been reduced to shagging Fern for a fix so I should be thankful for that I suppose.”