You can't stop progress. And PG Tips has come a long way over the years, its tea-sipping chimps of the 1950s (and 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s) clambering out of adland's primordial soup and evolving into the TV dream team of hernia-voiced funnyman Johnny Vegas and a knitted monkey puppet.

The duo will return to our screens on Christmas Day in a parody of the classic Morecambe & Wise 'breakfast strip-tease' routine that plays on a continuous loop every Yuletide on BBC1.

Before that, however, Monkey is going solo in another broad-brush take-off, donning lipstick and royal garb to deliver an alternative Christmas message in the manner of Her Majesty.

Getting distinctly tipsy (sorry) over repeated 'takes', Monkey attempts to drink a toast "to the year gone by" in what might well be the first advert-for-an-advert by a tea company featuring a simian glove puppet. Very meta.

With Monkey again voiced by Ben Miller - the one from Armstrong & Miller that doesn't advertise Pimm's - it's a welcome return for a national icon whose popularity is as enduring as it is inexplicable.