‘Monkey Man’ who brought joy to Birmingham High Street with a heart of gold

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About ten years ago, something incredible happened in a Birmingham High Street that brought smiles to passers-by for years. As soon as you heard the unmistakable sounds of music soaring above the traffic, and plastic wheels crunching on the sidewalk, you couldn’t help but grin.

Each week, a man would put a toy monkey in a stroller and select the day’s playlist. He would put on an outfit — the most famous being a Roman helmet and a red suit — and get to work.

He was the Kings Heath Monkey Man. A great showman to make families and children laugh on otherwise gray days to get the essentials.

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His real name is Sam Peters, a Brummie born and raised, who currently lives in Llandudno with his wife. He does a lot of the same there – when North Wales Live spoke to him, he had gathered 66 different outfits to bring some joy to the coastal town.

Other outfits include a Wumbles suit, a Batman costume, and an old-fashioned police officer’s uniform. Videos on YouTube also show priests, medieval princesses and Wonder Woman costume.

In glorious Llandudno in 2015 for a buzzing festival called Trakz.

Sam has lived with health and mental health issues over the years. That included depression and bipolar depression — but the monkey was one of the things that helped him live with it.

He adopted the monkey from a charity shop in 2009. “I have no idea why, but I bought the monkey and just started talking to him because I didn’t have anyone else to talk to at the time,” Sam said in 2015.

“I used to go to my local police station for a chat, and I started taking the monkey with me. Instead of being laughed at, the police started cheering me on and the act started from there.”

Due to health problems, he had to quit his job as an engineer at the age of 45. “Before the monkey, I didn’t really want to live. I had overdosed several times.”

Today you can follow his antics on his Facebook page. He has amassed over 9,000 followers and regularly posts updates and photos from his walks around Llandudno.

Hardly anything has changed over the years. He still has the jump in his stride, some very smooth moves and a slew of selfies with the locals – the only thing new are the outfits.

He was a ray of sunshine, no matter how bleak your day was. Treat him well, Llandudno.

What do you remember about the Kings Heath Monkey Man? Comment below or chat with us in our nostalgia group on Facebook.

See more history and nostalgia here!

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