WILL tea become too expensive to drink?
That was my expostulation (it’s all right, they can’t touch you for it) recently and it had one reader mourning the passing of not just tea, but the wonderful advertisements for tea that used to appear on television.
Who could ever forget racing driver Jackie Stewart and his wife Helen singing the tea song in the 1970s? You know the one:
I like a nice cup of tea in the morning
Just to start the day you see
And at half-past eleven
Well my idea of Heaven
Is a nice cup of tea.
I like a nice cup of tea with my dinner,
And a nice cup of tea with my tea,
And when it’s time for bed,
There’s a lot to be said,
For a nice cup of tea.
The original song was written by AP Herbert for his musical revue Home and Beauty in 1937. Brooke Bond revised it for their D brand and changed the tea to D.
But even better were all those PG Tips adverts with the chimps.
They were first used in 1956, believe it or not, when two chimps took afternoon tea in a stately home and Peter Sellers provided the voice over. Stanley Baxter, Cilla Black, Bruce Forsyth, Kenneth Williams and Bob Monkhouse were involved in some of the ads that followed.
Among the classics was the cycling British chimp in the Tour de France (“Avez vous un cuppa”) and the piano movers (“Do you know the piano’s on my foot?” “You hum it, son, I’ll play it”).
The real chimps behind the ads went into retirement in 2002 to the relief of animal rights people who thought the chimps were being exploited. Johnny Vegas has more recently appeared with the glove puppet Monkey. But they’re not the same.