Mr and Mrs H Sapiens like to think of themelves as quite the smartest species on the block. For a start they're the only animal which can stand on its hind legs. Except for meerkats, obviously, but meerkats can't drive or cook eggs, so that's them out. And humans are the only lot with opposable thumbs (unless you're counting crabs, and if you are you're just being picky). Besides, which other species has invented clothing, golf and bookmarks? Well, exactly.
Clearly we are Top Species (Capital 'T', Capital 'S'). Well done us. The problem is that the more you think about it, the more you realise that there's absolutely no good reason for this excellent state of affairs: we're comparitively weak, we're embarassingly slow - even our cats are faster than us, which is both humiliating and deeply incovenient. To top it all, we're not so different from our closest relatives - did you know that we share 98% of our DNA with chimps? That's why we have so much in common with them. You've eaten bananas, haven't you? Well, there you go.
In The Ape That Got Lucky, Chris Addison - the thinking idiot's pretend anthropologist - takes us on a journey through the vast and rich subject of human evolution in four comic lectures, and asks the listener if they're a man or a monkey (or a woman or a womonkey, if you're going to be like that about it.) On the way Chris looks at how Mankind began standing up after the development of the first, neolithic whoopee cushions, how scientific development has vastly increased the number of ways for us to kill ourselves through sheer stupidity and how 10,000 years of following sheep around hasn't done anything for the mood of the nomadic peoples.
Accompanying Chris on this journey to determine our relative monkeyness is Professor Austin Herring, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at St Dunstan's College Cambridge. A man of considerable academic reputation, mercurial, riddled with insecurities and desperate to be a talking head on something presented by Simon Schama, the professor makes regular contributions - both welcome and unwelcome - to the lectures. The other fellow travellers are Dan Tetsell and Jo Enright, who put their considerable talents to use in the sketches illustrating the lectures.
An established stand-up and writer, Chris is regarded as one of the most versatile comics on the circuit with his pacy, energetic routines and faultless delivery. He has charmed both audiences and critics alike with his particularly polite brand of observational comedy.
Chris has enjoyed great success as a live performer, headlining at the most prestigious comedy clubs - including the Comedy Store, the Stand and the Buzz Club. He has made a name for himself at The Edinburgh Festival with a slate of sold out solo shows that have been nominated for both the Perrier Best Newcomer Award and the Barry Humphries Comedy Award. His 2004 show Civilization was was nominated for the Perrier Award. Chris has also made international appearances at The Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Chris played Oliver Reeder, junior policy advisor, in Armando Iannucci'sThe Thick Of It on BBC Four. Chris is also one third of Radio 4's comedy show The Department.
Geoffrey is a prolific comedy character actor, working in TV, feature films and radio. Recent credits include: Ford Prefect in Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy for Radio 4, Look Around You, Bremner, Bird & Fortune, 15 Stoeys High and The Club Of Queer Trades.
Jo is an award-winning stand-up comedian and actress. Her credits include: I'm Still Alan Partridge, Phoenix Nights, That Peter Kay Thing and Harry Enfield & Friends.
Dan is a talented comedy writer and performer. His credits include: The Museum of Everything, Paperback Hell, We Are History, According To Bex and The Basil Brush Show.