When scientists found out that chimps had better memories than students, there were unkind comments about the calibre of the human competition they faced.
But now an ape has gone one better, trouncing British memory champion Ben Pridmore.
Ayumu, a seven-year-old male brought up in captivity in Japan, did three times as well as Mr Pridmore at a computer game which involved remembering the position of numbers on a screen.
And that's no mean feat - the 30-year-old accountant from Derby is capable of memorising the order of a shuffled pack of cards in under 30 seconds.
Both chimp and man watched a computer screen on which five numbers flashed up at various positions before being obscured by white squares.
They then had to touch the squares in order of the numbers they concealed, from lowest to highest. When the numbers were shown for just a fifth of a second - the blink of an eye - Ayumu got it right almost 90 per cent of the time.
His human opponent scored a rather less impressive 33 per cent, Channel Five programme Extraordinary Animals will reveal.
Mr Pridmore, who spends his evenings memorising 400-digit numbers, ruefully acknowledged that he had met his match.
"I'd rather not be seen on TV doing worse than a chimpanzee in a memory-test," he said. "I'll never live it down!"
The TV tests follow scientific experiments which pitted Ayumu, along with several other young chimps, against a group of university students.
Ayumu was the clear champion, doing twice as well as the humans.
It is thought that young chimps are blessed with photographic memories, allowing them to remember patterns and sequences with amazing accuracy.
Professor Tetsuro Matsuzawa, the Kyoto University researcher behind both sets of experiments, said: "People still believe that humans are superior to chimpanzees in any domain of intelligence.
"That is the prejudice of the people.
"Chimpanzees can be clever in a specific task in comparison to humans."