The Spectacular Shedvision Show
Roland Rat’s first appearance on TV-am. Live from the roof of Breakfast Television Centre, his Spectacular Shedvision Show appeared at Easter time in April 1983. Angela Rippon, Michael Parkinson and Nick Owen had the pleasure of introducing the Rat to viewers. His show consisted of cartoons, pop videos and interviews with pop stars
Rat on the Road
Summer 1983 and Roland Rat is asked by TV-am executives Anne Wood and Greg Dyke to take his show on a tour of Great Britain. His friend from Leeds, Kevin the Gerbil, went with him in the rather unreliable pink Ford Anglia car to York, Newcastle, Cardiff, Oxford, Edinburgh and London. The viewers loved it and TV-am’s popularity was quickly growing.
Roland’s Winter Wonderland
Filmed specially for the 1983 Christmas holidays, Winter Wonderland saw Roland and Kevin joined by Errol the Hamster for the first time. They took a trip to Switzerland and enjoyed staying in a log cabin and took up skiing. Kevin was not too keen on cable cars though, especially if he was facing the wrong way!
Roland Goes East
For Easter 1984, TV-am sent Roland, Kevin and Errol to Hong Kong. Roland had been asked to star in a major new movie called Enter the Rodent. With the film came a chance for Roland to cover the Elvis Presley hit Love Me Tender. Roland made his own pop video which did brilliantly in the charts. One surprise for the rodents though - they hadn’t bargained on Roland’s little brother Reggie hiding in their suitcase. He jumped out and surprised them on the flight to Hong Kong
During half term holidays in 1984 and 1985 Roland would take over the TV-am studio to host his own cartoon and phone in show called Roland Live. Anne Diamond would often help Roland out, and there would also be celebrity guests such as Tommy Boyd and Christopher Biggins joining in.
When Roland Rat found out his girlfriend Glenis the Guinea Pig was being held captive in Harrod’s department store in London, he and his friends tried to come up with a plan to get her free. They called it Operation FOGI which stood for Free Our Glenis Immediately! She was in fact living in a cage, being offered for sale in the pet’s department. Although there were many amusing complications along the way, Roland was eventually successful and Glenis was able to join the TV-am team!
Rat on the Road II
To accompany the second series of Rat on the Road, thee was a poster you could buy, along with stickers. Buy the packs of stickers from the newsagent and see if you can complete the poster. This one in the TV-am archive was successfully completed and looks great. Perhaps it should be in a frame
Summer 1985 on TV-am saw Roland Rat and Chris Tarrant back on the early morning screens. The Official Worldwide Roland Rat Appreciation Society took to the air at 9.00am as part of Good Morning Britain. TV Times asked Roland and Chris to be on their front cover. What a great photo.
Children who appeared on Rat on the Road were lucky to get a Rat Bag containing all sorts of treats. Inside this one was a Roland Rat notebook.
Additional information can be found at Roland’s fan site www.ratfans.com
All photographic, video and illustrated images of Roland Rat and Associated Characters are owned exclusively by (C) ROLAND RAT ENTERPRISES LTD UK & RRETVinc.USA 2018 and must not be downloaded, copied or used without permission of the copyright holders.
Roland Rat letter from TV-am
A letter from the Roland Rat production office at TV-am headquarters, 1985.
Roland Rat photo, February 1985
A group photo taken in February 1985. Roland wrote, “I love having my photo taken especially when I know my beloved ratfans treasure every new photo of me. I love you dearly X”.
Roland Rat soft toy
TV-am presenter Gary Champion sent us this photo of the popular Roland Rat soft toy, well looked after for thirty years. Thank you Gary!
View Master discs
Lots of great 3D photos of Roland, Kevin and Errol in this selection of viewmaster discs, 1984. A must have for 1980s children.
Look In magazine, February 1984
Roland stars on the cover of Look In magazine. He is wearing his skiing gear from Winter Wonderland
Roland Rat Superstar and friends Annual
Roland’s first annual packed with stories, activities and great photos from TV-am shows