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1956: Brooke Bond launches the PG Tips chimp, the first of a line of apes who will give the brand an indelible identity in the popular consciousness thanks to television adverts voiced by comedy actors. The packet he - or she - is holding is loose tea, for while the tea bag has just arrived on the scene, it is yet to take off with the British public.

1999: the popularity of the chimp has not waned, though he - or she - now brews up with the celebrated pyramid tea bag. This is the breakthrough - claims Brooke Bond - that has given the chimps an edge over their deadly rivals, the Tetley Teafolk, creators of the first bag and purveyors of that brilliant concept for mugs, the round tea bag.