Sunday, 17 October 2010

Monkey business: Jilloch the chimp, who helped PG Tips become the No1 tea in Britain, has died aged 34



Jilloch, shown here on the right, starred in the popular PG Tips adverts in the 1970s and 1980s

One of the hairy stars of a long-running advertising campaign that helped make PG Tips the most popular tea brand in Britain has died.

Jilloch was one of a family of chimpanzees to star for PG Tips, whose monkey-based plugs appeared on televisions from 1956 to 2002.

She starred in the popular adverts in the 1970s and 1980s, and was shown to be a haphazard TV repair man's dumb apprentice and, later, a father watching football on the box.

Scroll down for two classic PG Tips videos

But Jilloch suffered heart failure at Twyford Zoo in Staffordshire and died last Sunday aged 34 years - half the normal life expectancy of chimpanzees.

The humourous ads, inspired by the chimps’ tea parties held at London Zoo in the 1950s, propelled PG Tips to become the most loved tea in Britain.

In the space of only two years since the first advert was aired PG Tips moved from fourth in the ratings to top.

But after animal welfare campaigners successfully lobbied against the adverts chimps, who were dressed up in clothes and wigs to look like humans, have not been used for eight years.

The legendary adverts used the voices of many of the top stars of the time, including Peter Sellers, Cilla Black and Bob Monkhouse.

'Jilloch was one of our favourite chimps so we’re all saddened by the loss,' said Sharon Redrobe, director of life sciences at Twyford Zoo.

'The animal and vet team worked tirelessly to keep her as comfortable as possible.'

Neil Dorman, curator at the zoo, said: 'Jilloch had a lot of character and will be missed. She was shy but friendly. She’s never let fame go to her head.'

source :dailymail

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