‘Made in Chelsea’ Bosses at Monkey to Step Down After 23 Years (EXCLUSIVE)

The co-founders of “Made in Chelsea” producers Monkey are stepping down after 23 years with the company.

Sources tell Variety that David Granger and Will Macdonald announced their decision to exit as creative directors of Monkey on Friday afternoon. It’s not yet clear why they’re leaving, but it’s believed they may set up another production shingle in the future.

Granger and Macdonald founded Monkey in 2000 and joined Universal International Studios in 2010 when the company was acquired by NBCUniversal. Since that period, Monkey has grown into a reality behemoth in the U.K., best known for the long-running unscripted show “Made in Chelsea” — now on Season 25 on digital channel E4 and also airing on Peacock in the U.S. — as well as “The Real Housewives of Cheshire,” which is on Season 16 for ITVBe.

The company’s other credits include the BBC adaptation of NBC’s “That’s My Jam,” fronted by Mo Gilligan for BBC One; “Don’t Hate The Playaz” and “The Emily Atack Show” for ITV2; “Generation Drag” for Discovery+; and health format “Know Your Sh!t” for Channel 4.

During year one of the pandemic in 2020, Monkey was able to continue producing its stable of shows without a single shutdown, as reported by Variety at the time.

Before co-founding Monkey, Granger and Macdonald worked together at the STV-backed Ginger. Granger served as head of TV, working on programs such as “TFI Friday,” while Macdonald either co-wrote or produced the likes of “TFI Friday,” “Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush” and “The Priory.”

Following Granger and Macdonald’s exits, managing director Helen Kruger Bratt will remain in place, and continue to oversee operations. Meanwhile, new creative director Laura Gibson, who recently joined from “Too Hot to Handle” producer Talkback, will oversee the outfit’s creative strategy. Kruger Bratt and Gibson will work closely with studio Universal International Studios.

UIS president Beatrice Springborn confirmed Granger and Macdonald’s departures in a note to employees, seen by Variety and shared below. The executive said the duo is “leaving Monkey well-positioned for the future.”

In a joint statement, Granger and Macdonald said: “After much thought and consideration, we have today announced our decision to leave our positions as creative directors of Monkey. It’s been an incredibly tough decision to say goodbye to Monkey. We’ve enjoyed 23 wonderful years working alongside a ridiculously lovely group of people. With them we’ve shared ideas, desks, studios, some fancy locations – and some not so fancy – Covid protocols, last-minute dramas and lots of laughter.”

They continued: “But more than anything we are just immensely proud of the 200 series we’ve created and produced together at Monkey from Borehamwood to Hollywood and back again. We’ve also been hugely lucky to enjoy a great partnership with NBCU for over a decade and will always be grateful for all their immense support. A big thank you to all the networks who have commissioned us and the amazing talent we have been so lucky to work with.”

Kruger Bratt added: “It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Will and Dave and I wish them all the very best in their future endeavours. Looking ahead, the future for Monkey is extremely bright: working closely with Laura, our exceptional Monkey team, and Universal International Studios partners, we are well and truly primed for an exciting new phase for the business.”

Gibson said: “I want to extend my thanks to David and Will for warmly welcoming me into the Monkey family and to congratulate them on the incredible company they have built. I am so excited about the future of this amazing business and look forward to partnering with Helen and the teams at Monkey and Universal International Studios to creatively lead this new chapter.”

Read UIS president Beatrice Springborn’s note to staff below:

Hello everyone,

As you may be aware David Granger and Will Macdonald have announced their decision to leave their positions as Creative Directors of Monkey. David and Will founded Monkey in 2000 and joined Universal International Studios in 2010 when the company was acquired by NBCU. In that time and together as a studio we have produced over 120 titles including BAFTA and multiple award-winning shows like Made in Chelsea, Don’t Hate the Playaz, The Real Housewives of Cheshire and That’s My Jam to name just a few.

In addition to building a compelling premium unscripted business, David and Will have also built a fantastic team and are leaving Monkey well-positioned for the future. Looking ahead, Managing Director Helen Kruger Bratt will work closely with me, UTAS President Toby Gorman, UIS SVP of Unscripted Ed Havard and UIS CFO & EVP Rob Howard to continue the company’s expansion.

We are also thrilled to welcome Laura Gibson who will be joining Monkey as Creative Director; Laura is an exceptional talent and joins us from Talkback/Fremantle where she created mega hits like Too Hot to Handle for Netflix.

I want to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to David and Will for their dedication in building Monkey into the successful production company that it is today. Please join me in wishing them well on their next endeavour.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me, your manager or HR team.

Beatrice

(Pictured: “Made in Chelsea”)

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