Friday, 20 June 2014

Whatever happened to the PG Tips chimps?

Do you remember the PG Tips chimps? Their adverts, including the famous one about two removals men (well, monkeys) trying to get a piano up a flight of steps were funnier than most of the actual programmes. But did the chimps enjoy themselves as much as the viewers?

Apparently yes, they really enjoyed dressing up, but it's said they found retirement from the spotlight hard to cope with. Transferred to Twycross Zoo in Leicester, they missed interacting with humans and found it difficult to integrate with other apes.

42-year-old Choppers, below, is the only one left now after her lifelong friend Louis (who played Mr Shifter in the removals ad) died last year. Does she look so sad because she's remembering the days when she was a star (That's her, above, as Ada the tea lady)? Or is she just gasping for a cup of tea?

The rights and wrongs of animals in entertainment has been a thorny issue for more than a century. Did you know the first calls to ban them were made exactly 100 years ago when the Performing Animals Defence League was formed in 1914? Click here to read the 100-year history of attempts to ban animals in entertainment.