Born in a sewer at King's Cross (some say that he was actually created, voiced and operated by one David Claridge, so believe what you will), Roland was the rat who helped to save the good ship TV-am in 1983.
He's seen here on both sides of his picture disc Rat Rapping - "High class music for discerning rodents". He was a class act (still is, check him out on Facebook!) and the ultimate '80s superstar.
I was keen on Kevin the gerbil too. Loved that pink bucket!
Roland was also a badge star - here he doesn't drop litter and advertises his own spaghetti shapes in 1987.
Love this - Kevin the gerbil money box.
I must say, however, that the idea that the "big bad 1980s" was the first decade to target kids as consumers is nonsense. When I was little, the big thing was "The Magic Roundabout" - and the memory of the amount of merchandising available still boggles my mind today!
Here's Roland and Kevin with Rat Rapping, Top Of The Pops, 12 January, 1984.
Article Updated 25/8/12