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Monday, 19 August, 2002, 17:56 GMT 18:56 UK
Vegas 'owed money for Monkey ads'
Monkey (left) starred in TV ads with Johnny Vegas
Monkey (left) starred in TV ads with Johnny Vegas
Comedian Johnny Vegas says he is owed money for the adverts he did with a monkey puppet following the collapse of ITV Digital.

Vegas and his sidekick became the popular face of the doomed digital network, with the woolly creature quickly becoming an advertising icon.

But Vegas has said he has yet to be paid in full and foresees a time he will have to fight it out in court for the money.

The adverts were created by advertising company Mother, but it was not paid by ITV Digital before it was put in the hands of administrators, with massive debts largely from its failed venture into football.

Lawyers representing Vegas have sent a letter to Mother asking for payment, according to reports.

Vegas told the Radio Times that he had not yet been paid for his work.

"I'm owed quite a lot of money, but I'm under contract not to bring them into disrepute, so if I slag them off they can say it's null and void," he said.

Charity

"I hate going to court, but we're talking about it now."

There is an ongoing dispute about who owns the monkey character but ITV Digital's administrators at Deloitte and Touche have insisted they retain ownership and want to sell it to the highest bidder.

Mother and Monkey's creators at the Jim Henson Puppet Company were keen to donate him to the Comic Relief charity for use during Red Nose Day.

Vegas was a rising star on the comedy circuit but it was the ITV Digital adverts that put him firmly in the public eye.

He has also appeared in the dark comedy Happiness with Paul Whitehouse and is a team captain on the quiz show Shooting Stars.


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