So, Roland Rat the Superstar himself! How on earth are you and what are you up to nowadays?
I’m very well in fact l look just the same now as l did in 1983, haven’t aged one bit! Which is the beauty of being a licensed character we drink from the fountain of youth!!! l’m always busy on numerous projects and spend a lot of time in America, l’m a jet settin’ rodent yeahhh!
You started out on TV-AM, in the early 80s. All the other presenters were mostly human, so how did the initial audition go? Were they a little skeptical that a rat wanted a job?
They were totally desperate at the time as no one was watching the rubbish they were puttin’ out! The other presenters were only just human!
They didn’t want me in the place so l broadcast from a shed on the roof…that was my first series, entitled THE SPECTACULAR SHEDVISION SHOW, and launched on April Fools Day 1983….A TV LEGEND WAS BORN YEAHHH!
Who was your favourite TV-AM presenter? It has to be Anne Diamond, doesn’t it?
Yeah Anne was in love with me naturally, mainly because l took her from the tills at Tescos and got her the job so she always felt indebted to me. Everyone felt the same towards me at TVAM cus without me they would have all been out of a job. Anne was my fave though, Nick was nice too, he used to clean the toilets at Aston Villa Football Club.
Did any of them have any weird pre-show habits? (Rest assured, any gossip you can give will ONLY be shared online across the world.)
As l said the presenters were all pretty borin’ so no juicy stories there! However my gang were obviously more interestin’. Kev always soaked his feet in his pink bucket before going on air. Errol always had the Rhondda Male Voice Choir playin’ in the VT dept. That drove everyone crazy. My pre-show habit is to sit in the dressing room and stare at myself and chant “you’re wonderful, you’re marvelous” and then l’m ready to meet the masses through the televisual medium.
So TV-AM sent you all over the place. Was that the start of your worldwide showbiz career?
Yeah we went all over the UK, lreland, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Australia, USA. We did a series in OZ and a series in L.A. My programs (over 400 half hours) have been shown around the world. We have licensed hundreds of RAT toys over the 26 yrs.
Where was your favourite place that TV-AM sent you?
Difficult because we had a fab time wherever we went, l suppose Hong Kong, cus we worked at Golden Harvest and filmed with Jackie Chan.
In the early days it seemed to be just you and Kevin, but as time went on there were more and more of your friends. Did you ever feel they were using you to get into the media spotlight?
There are 15 characters in all and that’s 14 too many! Of course everybody hangs round me and that’s the price of fame yeahhhhhhh!
Whats the story behind the colour of the Ratmobile? It was pink..
All Kevin’s fault he luvs the colour pink, brainless idiot. Who’d drive round in a pink car?
Answer: ROLAND RAT yeahhh thanks Kev!!! Remember he bought the pile of junk for 85 pounds from D’Arcey de Farcey, a con man l kept running into.
So how did you go from being a guest on TV-AM to having your own prime time TV show?
l was hardly a “guest” at TVAM! l was runnin’ the place mate!!!
lt was all Gyles Brandreth’s fault he suggested his agent and said l ought to move to the BBC …so l did for 6 yrs…the biggest bureaucratic dump in the world.
How much say did you have in guests for Roland Rat The Series? Did you ever turn down guests and why?
l always make the final decision on who comes on my shows, we obviously discuss with the director and the researchers suggest guests. Then l ignore everything they say and demand they book who l want or l don’t go on air!!!
Was there a guest that you wish you’d got, but couldn’t?
I always wanted Spike Milligan as a guest but directors were scared of him because he had quite a reputation…yeahhhh l like that!
You’ve met Uri Gellar! There are clips of you on your site, www.ratfans.com, of you with guests from Roland Rat The Series, and Uri Gellar is on there, growing a seed in his hand! Was he one of your favourite guests, or was he the one who was star struck?
Uri’s in a world of his own bless him, my fave guest star was Iggy Pop… oh and Andy Williams.
Nowadays you spend your time between the UK and LA. Why is that?
Well, l flit between the RATCAVE London under Kings Cross Station and RATCAVE2 under the Hollywood Sign in L.A. l hate the cold winters in the UK and so does my pet flea Colin, he prefers to be on the beach at Malibu!
l have a production company in L.A. and we are always working on new projects there, besides if l’m in one place too long l get bored!!
I’m a trendy rat l only wear VANS, EMERICA or HURLEY nowadays, l hang out at Malibu an’ l skate in the skateboard park opposite the beach.
When I told friends and family that you had agreed to an interview, my mate Mark asked if you’d sign his 7″ copy of Rat Rappin’ ? (assuming he’ll cover the postage costs!)
No problem is it the picture disc?
My friend Claire from 80sCartoons.co.uk (click to visit!) wanted to know what your favourite 80s cartoon was?
The ones l showed like TRANSFORMERS. l was the first to show that series in the UK, same with PACMAN.
Hamsters are notoriously unpredictable, so is Errol easy to get on with off set?
Errol is a tedi-arse bore! Every year his depressive streak gets worse, l wish he would go for treatment, whenever l tell him he needs psychiatric help he says “what’s the point…there’s nothing wrong with me! so what can l do? He needs to return to his homeland!!
Finally do you have a message for your ratfans?
Yeah l luv my ratfans and now with the web we can be even closer on TWITTER or FACEBOOK, MYSPACE , BEEBO or through the fan site www.ratfans.com. So get in touch with a living legend…..you know it makes sense……LUV YA ROL 2009 L.A. XXXXX
If you’d like to get in touch with Roland Rat, please use the following links.
Roland Rat on Twitter – www.twitter.com/rolandrat
Roland Rat on MySpace – www.myspace.com/rolandratofficial
Roland Rat on Facebook – www.facebook.com/RRETVinc
Roland Rat on Bebo – www.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MemberId=4300795361
For even more Roland news, please visit www.ratfans.com
Interview from 24th July 2009.